SCOTTISH budget hotel chain Travelodge has opened new accommodation in Inverness.

The Inverness City Centre Travelodge represents an investment of £5 million for third party investors and has created 22 new jobs within the community

The company’s 43rd Scottish hotel is located in the heart of the city centre.

Inverness City Centre Travelodge, the company’s 557th hotel, is located on Academy Street and was built in 15 months. The 54-room Travelodge is the company’s first hotel in Inverness to feature a bar cafe offering a breakfast, dinner and bar menu.

The hotel has been styled in the company’s new upgraded contemporary brand design which has been influenced by feedback from business and leisure customers and features free WiFi for half an hour, an unlimited breakfast menu and for each paying adult two children eat for free.

The hotel was officially opened yesterday by the Provost of Inverness, councillor Helen Carmichael, and Travelodge’s new UK operations director, Nigel Mackenzie.

Inverness City Centre Travelodge is the company’s fourth hotel in the Scottish Highlands. In addition, over the last 24 months, Travelodge has invested nearly £500,000 upgrading its other Highland hotels in the company’s new contemporary brand style.

Nigel Mackenzie said: “I am thrilled to be officially opening my first Travelodge in Inverness in my new role as UK Operations Director. This city is very special to me, as I have spent many years living in the city as well as exploring our wonderful Scottish Highlands with my family.”

He continued: “We are delighted to open our third hotel in Inverness and bring our great value bar cafe offering to the city. With year on year growing visitor numbers to Inverness and the Scottish Highlands, there is a desperate need for good quality and great value accommodation within the area. With the opening of Inverness City Centre Travelodge, we now operate four hotels across the Highlands and we are seeking a further hotel site in Aviemore.”

The Provost of Inverness, councillor Helen Carmichael, said: “I am delighted that Travelodge is continuing to invest in the city of Inverness, opening today its third hotel in such a prime location, and of course offering even more jobs for local people. As Inverness continues to grow and attract tourists, it is vital that the City can offer a wide range of good quality, budget accommodation. I hope this new hotel will encourage more people to come and spend time in Inverness before exploring the rest of the Highlands.”

Mark Carrington, hotel manager at Inverness City Centre Travelodge, said: “Looking ahead, business on the books is very encouraging and we are set for a very busy 2018. This is great news for the local economy too, as research shows that our customers will spend £2m with local businesses during their stay.”