Published: 05:00, 12 January 2022
| Updated: 15:51, 12 January 2022
Travelodge has confirmed it is "reviewing" the former Poundland premises in Deal High Street.
The budget hotel chain, which opened a new a branch at Discovery Park in Sandwich last August, has not hidden its desire to find more bed space in Kent.
At the time of the launch, its development team announced plans for nine more hotels across Kent, capitalising on the increasing popularity of staycations.
This included branches in Canterbury, Herne Bay, Bluewater and Folkestone – but Deal was not listed.
Now, after chairman of Deal and Walmer Chamber of Trade, Peter Jull, has brought the vacant unit to the company's attention, the site is set to be reviewed.
Tony O'Brien, Travelodge development director, said: "There is a desperate need for good quality and great value accommodation in the Kent region.
"We currently operate 16 hotels across the region which includes our latest addition in Sandwich.
"All of these hotels are trading well and to meet growing demand we are actively looking for new opportunities across the region and are delighted to review the site which housed the former Poundland store."
If the three-storey unit at 15 High Street is suitable, it would not be the first time the chain has transformed retail space into a hotel.
Mr O'Brien added: "We recently converted a redundant British Homes Store into a Travelodge Plus hotel in the heart of St Albans High Street.
"This type of development is a win-win solution for all parties as it converts redundant space back into economic use, encouraging inward investment, creating new jobs and attracting new business and leisure visitors to the area.
"It is also good news for the local economy, as research shows Travelodge customers will spend on average double their room rate with local businesses during their stay which can equate to an annual multi-million boost.”
It comes just days after a new and bigger Poundland store was opened in Deal.
The budget store relocated to the former M&S at number 41 on Saturday.
The new shop, which has created eight new jobs, is twice the size and offers PEP&CO clothing and home furnishings, plus chilled and frozen food.
M&S left Deal in April 2019 after more than 80 years in the town as part of the brand's downsizing plans. At the time, a petition opposing its closure gained thousands of signatures.
The store has been empty ever since.
Mr Jull welcomed the new "spacious" Poundland store but remains focused on filling the former shop.
He said: "We have no information on what's happening with the former store but the Chamber continues to encourage other organisations to take an interest in it, including Travelodge.
"I have brought it to the attention of the new property director who is pleased with the response in Sandwich and said they are ready to look for more bedroom space locally."