CONCERN has been raised after the national hotel chain Premier Inn announced it would like to build a number of new hotels in South Cumbria.

Four new sites are earmarked for Cumbria, with work due to start on-site at one Lake District hotel later this year.

Most recent documents from Whitbread, the firm which owns the hotel chain, has revealed where the company wants to build next.

Known as ‘target locations,’ the firm updates its list every year as new hotels are built and fresh demand is identified.

Earmarked in the most recent list for new locations to develop are Grange, Ambleside, Windermere and Carlisle.

In Keswick, work is due to start later this year on a new 73-bedroom Premier Inn on High hill. Planning permission was granted for this in October 2020 and it is going to be the first Premier Inn in the Lake District.

Malcolm Lamb, South Lakeland District councillor for Ambleside, is concerned that a national hotel chain would negatively impact local businesses.

“Big chain hotels don’t really have a presence here, the nearest is probably Kendal,” he said.

“I’m not sure whether a Premier Inn would be welcomed in the area. I think it would definitely have an impact on local businesses, especially after the difficulties of the past year.

“I would need to see a constructive idea of where they would like to build the hotel if they’re serious about the plans.”

Kevin Murray, senior acquisitions manager for Whitbread, Premier Inn’s parent company, said: “Though we have to recognise that it is a challenging time for all hospitality businesses, we are continuing to look for the next generation of locations for Premier Inn across Cumbria.

"The Lake District will always be a popular destination for our customers, who are staying with Premier Inn for leisure trips and staycations more and more, and we would love to have a presence in Windermere and Ambleside.

“We continue to be a reliable and flexible development partner and believe that our hotels bring a range of benefits to the communities they serve."