Dorchester could be set to get a new town centre hotel. Whitbread, parent company to Premier Inn, has announced it has purchased the former Marks & Spencer store in South Street, with the intention of bringing a new hotel of around 100 beds to the town.
The former Marks & Spencer shut in February 2020, and much of the building has remained unused and is an increasing state of disrepair.
Louise Woodruff, Property Acquisitions Manager at Whitbread, said: “We are delighted to have purchased the former Marks & Spencer site on South Street and want to deliver a new hotel of around 100 beds, revitalising this key town centre site.
“Following some early engagement with Dorchester Town Council and other key stakeholders, we’ll spend the summer working on our plans before holding a public consultation in the early autumn, before submitting our plans to Dorset Council.
“We believe that a new hotel in Dorchester will strengthen the town’s brilliant tourism offer, regenerate a near-derelict site, offer more choice to visitors and bring jobs and investment to the local area.”
Dorchester Chamber for Business Vice President Steve Bulley added: “The store has been empty for some time and we welcome investment in the town centre that will bring in business for the traders and attractions Dorchester has to offer.”
Details of a public consultation in the autumn will be announced in due course.
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