Whitbread grows its property development team
Whitbread PLC, the UK’s largest hotel business and the owner of the Premier Inn hotel chain, has welcomed Owen Ellender to its UK and Ireland development team.
Owen joins as a Senior Development Manager to support Whitbread’s strategy of expanding its network of Premier Inn and hub by Premier Inn hotels from 84,000 bedrooms today to a network potential of 125,000 rooms (UK & Ireland).
In a newly created role, Owen will be concentrating on development opportunities across Whitbread’s existing hotel estate, with a particular focus on adding new guest bedrooms to the company’s trading locations.
Starting his career initially at CBRE, Owen joined Whitbread as an Acquisitions Manager in 2011 before moving into a development management role with the firm.
Leaving the business in 2018 for an in-house role with a family office and subsequently as head of property development at Greene King, Owen’s passion for hotels and hotel development has brought him back to Whitbread.
Announcing his appointment, Owen said:
“Whitbread is a unique business with an exciting vision for what it wants to achieve in the UK and Ireland. The company also does business in a way I admire with a particular focus on its people and the opportunities its brands create as they grow.
“Returning to Whitbread in a senior development role gives me an excellent platform to contribute towards the company’s growth strategy of adding new bedrooms across the UK and Ireland, and I’m excited to get going and put my development skills to good use in expanding the estate.”
Owen’s appointment grows Whitbread’s in-house property team to 60 people covering property acquisitions, development, estates, repairs and maintenance, facilities, and support functions. He will report to Alex Flach, the company’s development director for the UK and Ireland.
In October 2023 the company appointed its first property apprentice as part of a wider programme of attracting young talent into the company.