TRAVELODGE has opened its fourth hotel in York, and looks on course to start building a fifth.

Yesterday the hotel chain formally opened Travelodge Layerthorpe, with York Central MP Rachael Maskell and Lord Mayor Cllr Barbara Boyce doing the honours. At the same time, the company has announced expansion plans across Yorkshire and planning committee documents show another hotel planned for Monks Cross is likely to get the go ahead.

Travelodge property director Tony O’Brien said the Yorkshire economy is “growing apace” but there is not enough good value accommodation to meet demand

“York Layerthorpe Travelodge is our flagship hotel in York as it’s our largest property.

“As we look to the future, Yorkshire is a key growth area for Travelodge. Following our £1 million investment in upgrading the customer experience and raising quality levels across our Yorkshire hotels, we have seen a significant increase in sales; interestingly, with more business customers staying in our hotels than ever before.”

The Layerthorpe opening has created 47 jobs and the company is now looking for more hotel sites in Yorkshire. Mr O’Brien said they are targeting York, Knaresborough, Wetherby, Northallerton and Thirsk, among other towns, in a bid to boost the number of Yorkshire sites from 34 to 46 and create up to 420 jobs.

Vilma Hellah is the manager of the new Layerthorpe hotel, taking on the job 11 years after she started working for Travelodge as a housekeeper.

Vilma said: “I am very proud to have built a fantastic team who are as passionate as myself about delivering great customer service. We worked around the clock to get the hotel ready in time for the summer holiday period and the hard work has certainly paid off. The hotel has got off to a flying start. With increasing visitor numbers, there is a desperate need within the city for good quality and great value accommodation.” The company already has a planning application in for an 80 bedroom hotel next to the Pear Tree Farm pub at Monks Cross.

A council planning committee is due to meet next week, and planning officials have recommended it be approved.