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Friday, 28 November 2014

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Premier Inn eyeing up new site in west Cumbria

Hotel giant Premier Inn wants to move to Cockermouth and is looking at potential sites.

Premier Inn logo

The News & Star can reveal that the hotel chain “would like to be” in the town and is exploring a number of opportunities.

An initial request for a Premier Inn and Brewers Fayre at the Sheep and Wool Centre and Shepherds Hotel has been lodged with Allerdale council.

Artist sketches have also been submitted to support the screening opinion request.

However, the owner of the Sheep and Wool Centre and hotel, which is on the outskirts of town at Lamplugh Road, said that although the property has been on the market for three years, no sale had been agreed.

Roy Campbell said: “Nobody has came up with the money or signed on the dotted line. There have been various companies looking at it, but we have not sold.”

He added that this was the first he had heard about Premier Inn’s interest in the hotel and land but added he was “here to sell” and was open to offers.

News of the hotel’s possible move into the town has been met with mixed reaction from traders.

Andy Walsh, chairman of Cockermouth Chamber of Trade, said if the hotel was to open on the outskirts of town, on the A66 roundabout, it would take the focus away from the town centre.

“The concentration for Cockermouth has got to be in the town centre,” he said. “There has been so many issues from floods to the current roadworks and now the on-street parking fees.

“Any development should be in the centre of town.

“If Premier Inn wants to put a hotel and Brewers Fayre out of town, it will move the focus away from Main Street and its independent businesses – we can’t have that.”

Jonty Chippendale, owner of the Toy Shop on Main Street, said: “If the company buys the Sheep and Wool Centre and turns it into a Premier Inn, that is a commercial decision and is just a change of ownership. But, if they are looking at building another hotel on the other side of the A66 then that will set a precedent for future developments on the wrong side of the A66.”

He added that if a hotel was built more central to the town, it would not necessarily be a bad move.

“We have the Travelodge and have managed with that,” he said.

Mr Chippendale added he welcomed the investment in the town.

A Premier Inn spokesman could not give any more detail about the site, saying the company was “not able to confirm its plans for the area”.

He added: “However, Cockermouth is a town we would like to be in and we are looking at a number of opportunities in the local area.”

Have your say

I remember a nice ye olde hotel based more centrally in the town, think it was called the Globe ...anyway thats the past, I am no fan of homogenous, faceless hotel chains and like many have said on here already folk need to get with the times, and so far as pulling trade away from the town, its business and as a local hotellier I know quite well often says to me .. if you cant compete maybe you shouldnt be in it.

Posted by Gaj on 1 July 2014 at 14:00

Yes, lets embrace change for the sake of it....if we are lucky we could turn out like Workington or Whitehaven or....duh

Posted by triedandtested on 30 June 2014 at 13:21

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