Whitbread to convert London police station into hub by Premier Inn

Whitbread, the owner of the Premier Inn and hub by Premier Inn hotel brands, is progressing with its expansion in central London by submitting plans to convert the Grade II-listed Snow Hill Police Station in Farringdon into a 220-bedroom hub by Premier Inn hotel.

The former police station was acquired by Whitbread at the beginning of 2020 and will be its third hub by Premier Inn hotel in the City of London if the application is granted planning consent.

The business is continuing its network growth in parts of the capital where its brands are under-represented and where it remains confident of the long-term demand for hotel bedrooms.

Jonathan Langdon, Acquisitions Manager for Central London at Whitbread, said, “Our strategy is to invest in locations where we see strong, long-term demand for our bedrooms and where we don’t yet have a substantial presence. Farringdon is one such market where we see a long-term opportunity for growth. Being in the City, near some of London’s most historic attractions and a buzzing area for London’s night-time economy, it’s an attractive location for both business and leisure customers 7-days a week.

“While Covid-19 has impacted market demand for hotel accommodation in London in the short-term, we’ve no doubt the capital will bounce back and continue to be an important destination once the pandemic passes. Our plans at Snow Hill and our other hotel developments across central London will enhance our market leadership position and are part of our strategy of driving value for our shareholders over the medium and long term.”

Whitbread’s plans for the redevelopment of the site have been shaped by extensive pre-application engagement with planning officers at the City of London Corporation. The heritage-led plans involve retaining the historic Police Station building fronting Snow Hill with the hub by Premier Inn bedrooms designed around a new atrium and remodelled building to the rear.

Subject to planning consent being granted, the new hub by Premier Inn hotel will create approximately 50 new jobs on opening, with recruitment focused locally in the City and central London boroughs.

Whitbread has been expanding its network of hub by Premier Inn hotels across London since launching the brand in 2014. It currently operates 10 hub by Premier Inn hotels across the capital – more than 2,000 bedrooms – with new hotels scheduled to open at Berwick Street in Soho and Quaker Street in Shoreditch in early 2021.

While most people in the UK are familiar with the Premier Inn brand, hub by Premier Inn hotels are focused in prime city locations. The hotels feature ‘compact’ bedrooms, enhanced by useful technology such as Smart TV’s and clever lighting, and a through-the-day light touch ‘Lounge’ dining and quality bar offering.

If planning permission for the new hotel is granted by the City of London Corporation, Whitbread is expecting to start on-site in 2021 with the hotel targeted to complete in the 2023/24 financial year.