Hotel chain Premier Inn is about to open its new Oxford city centre hotel opposite the Westgate Centre.

Whitbread, which owns the Premier Inn hotel chain, started working on plans for the hotel in 2013 following the acquisition of a 1980s office building which originally occupied the site.

The redevelopment provided the opportunity to improve Paradise Square, a public space next to the hotel, and 27 new jobs have been created.

Read again: Eight-storey Premier Inn at Botley to open

Richard Aldread, head of construction in the UK regions and Ireland for Whitbread, said the opening of the hotel on Friday follows a £12m investment, with the site costing £4.3m and the construction a further £7.9m.

Oxford Mail:

He added: "We spotted the opportunity to bring Premier Inn’s affordable bedrooms into the heart of Oxford city centre around the time the plans to redevelop the Westgate shopping centre were being discussed.

"With the help of a talented team of designers and development professionals, and the support of City Council officers, we have built a superb new hotel in a challenging setting.

"It’s a proud moment to see the hotel open and I have no doubt that it will be extremely popular with our business and leisure guests and play a positive role in supporting the city’s economy.”

Oxford Mail:

A joint architectural team of Rick Mather Architects and Allison Pike Partnership designed the Westgate Premier Inn to reflect its historic location in the city.

Read more: Oxford's new easyHotel is nearly finished

The design, which was influenced by two CABE design review panels, also sought to improve connections to Paradise Square and open views to the rear of the listed buildings along Paradise Street.

Simon Pryce, Director of Allison Pike Partnership, said: “The new hotel makes a really positive contribution to the wider city centre setting by preserving and enhancing views of adjacent listed buildings and creating new and positive connections with new visual and physical routes around the site."

Oxford Mail:

Planning permission was granted by the city council in December 2017 with construction starting in July 2019. Cardiff-based Carter Lauren was the principal contractor.

Mary Clarkson, the council cabinet member for tourism, said: “The new Premier Inn is a welcome addition to Oxford’s hotel offering."

The new Premier Inn opposite Westgate following the opening of a 123-bedroom hotel at Botley in May.

Read more: Oxford named one of least affordable cities in the UK

The chain expects 35,000 guests will stay at the Westgate hotel every year, based on pre-pandemic occupancy data.

Oxford Mail:

Its full title is Premier Inn Oxford City Centre (Westgate) hotel.

Rival chain easyHotel has built a new hotel in Summertown.