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Corks popping for first Premier Inn outside Dublin

17 Oct 2019 Estate

Morrisons Quay Cork Viewed Straight On

UK’s largest hotel business ramps up expansion in Ireland with fourth site acquisition

Whitbread, the owner of Premier Inn working with its development partners Greenleaf Group and Warren Private, has secured a deal for a new Premier Inn hotel in Cork city centre, marking its first site in Ireland outside of Dublin.

Premier Inn is expanding rapidly into Ireland as it grows its presence from a single hotel at Dublin Airport to 3,500 rooms in Dublin and across the country.

Situated in a prime location at Morrisons Quay on the banks of the River Lee, the new 183-bedroom Cork Premier Inn hotel will be at the heart of the city’s rapidly expanding and dynamic cultural centre.

Kevin Murray, Head of Acquisitions for Whitbread in Ireland, said:

Securing a new Premier Inn hotel at Morrisons Quay is a major milestone in our expansion into Ireland as it marks our first site outside of Dublin.  Cork has an exciting future as a cultural and educational centre, so we see real potential in the business and leisure markets here. With significant additional bedroom requirements, we’re actively seeking freehold and leasehold opportunities for Premier Inn right across the country”.

After signalling its intent to expand into the Irish market last year, Whitbread has secured more than 500 Premier Inn rooms in Dublin city centre in three hotels – at South Great George’s Street, Jervis Street and Castleforbes Business Park. The hotels are planned to open from early 2021 onwards.

Premier Inn’s first site in Cork is within a five-minute walk of Cork’s new events arena currently under construction, next door to the College of Commerce and across the river from the internationally renowned School of Music and the new University of Cork Business School, due to open in 2023.  The hotel will be delivered alongside the conversion into offices of three protected buildings currently on the site.

Mark Elliott, Director of Dublin-based Greenleaf Groupsaid:

“The proposed development at Morrisons Island is an important regeneration scheme for Cork. It covers a prominent and vacant city block on Morrisons Island.  The objective behind the proposed development is to re-utilize the existing and protected buildings, which are currently neglected, and create a vibrant new building of the highest quality on the remaining land.  We hope that the proposal will be well received by Cork City Council and we look forward to working with all stakeholders during the planning and development of the site.”

After growing in Dublin and Cork Whitbread sees the potential for Premier Inn hotels in other cities including Galway, Limerick and Killarney. The business is seeking sites as freeholds, leaseholds, office to hotel conversions as well as going concern purchases.

Dan O’Connor, Executive Vice President of Hotels and Hospitality at JLL, who has been working with Whitbread on its expansion in Ireland added:

“Cork is a very strong hotel market, which recorded double digit RevPAR growth of +14% in 2018.  JLL are delighted to assist Whitbread in securing one of the most central sites in Cork, which is also a significant milestone in their nationwide roll out.”

Outside of the UK and Ireland, Whitbread is expanding rapidly in Germany with three Premier Inn hotels open and trading more than 7,000 bedrooms in the secured pipeline. In the UK and Ireland, the business sees the potential or 110,000 Premier Inn rooms.


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Notes to editors

  • Whitbread currently operates one Premier Inn hotel in Ireland at Dublin Airport (213 bedrooms).
  • Within the last twelve months Whitbread has secured sites for three Premier Inn hotels in Dublin city centre (a total of 527 bedroom).The 97-bedroom Premier Inn hotel at South Great George’s Street is currently on-site and is expected to open in the first quarter of 2021.
  • In Northern Ireland Whitbread operates eight Premier Inn hotels at Bangor, Belfast (3 hotels) Coleraine, Carrickfergus, Derry/Londonderry and Lisburn.
  • The target locations for Premier Inn and hub by Premier Inn are available on the property pages of the Whitbread website here together with a list of contacts in Whitbread’s property acquisition team.

About Premier Inn

Premier Inn was named the UK’s top-rated hotel chain for 2018 according to Which? With almost 800 hotels and more than 75,000 rooms across the UK and Ireland, Premier Inn guests are never far from a great night’s sleep at fantastic value rates. Premier Inn hotels are in more locations than any other UK hotel brand for the ease and convenience of leisure and business travellers alike.

All Premier Inn bedrooms feature en-suite bathrooms, a luxurious Hypnos® bed, a choice of pillows, TV with Freeview and free Wi-Fi. A bar and restaurant is situated either on-site or next door to each hotel, offering a wide range of food and drink including a delicious all-you-can-eat breakfast.

Across the estate, the average Trip Advisor score for Premier Inn hotels is 4.2. Premier Inn has been awarded the Best UK Family Hotel in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards, Best UK Hotel Group in the Silver Travel Awards and the Business In The Community Environmental Leadership Award. In 2018 Premier Inn was also named the UK’s top-rated hotel chain for the fourth year in a row by Which?

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity is the National Charity partner of Premier Inn and to date team members, guests and suppliers have reached the milestone of £10 million, which formed part of the funding towards the Premier Inn Clinical Building, officially opened by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge in January 2018.

Outside of the UK, Premier Inn’s expansion plans are focused on Germany.  Premier Inn opened its first hotel in Frankfurt in 2016 and has more than 7,000 Premier Inn bedrooms in its secured pipeline in Germany.

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