Berwick's new 60-bedroom £5.5million Premier Inn hit by last-minute delay

The opening of a new £5.5million hotel in Northumberland has suffered an eleventh hour delay.

Saturday, 1st February 2020, 4:00 pm
The Premier Inn in Berwick.
The Premier Inn in Berwick.

Premier Inn was due to open its 60-bedroom Berwick hotel this week but has had to postpone those plans after its principle building contractor entered insolvency.

Ailsa Riva, Premier Inn new openings project manager, has written to local stakeholders and neighbours to inform them of the delay.

She said: “Sanderson Ltd, the principle contractor leading the construction of our new 60-bedroom hotel, entered administration last week.

“It was unexpected and we feel deeply for the Sanderson team, and their suppliers, working on the construction of the new hotel.

“To complete the build my construction colleagues have appointed a new contractor, J W Wilkinson Group, who are on-site and progressing with the final fit-out of the hotel building and associated external works.

“Our initial goal was to open the hotel and start welcoming guests at the beginning of February.

“To give the Wilkinson team time to assess and complete the last few bits of work, we have decided to hold off opening the hotel until the end of February.

“I hope you can appreciate our reasons for doing so. We want everything to be perfect when we open the doors and the few extra weeks will give us the time to ensure that is so.

“Despite the hold-up our new team members are in-role, have completed their training and are very much looking forward to meeting you in a few weeks’ time.”

The development, on the site of the former Playhouse on Sandgate, has suffered several delays since planning permission was granted in 2016.

Part of the delay has been due to the compact nature of the site.

Additional excavation and survey works were also needed after an old cellar was found, while extra permissions also had to be secured to remove the corner of the old cinema, left over from the demolition in 2010.

The development will create up to 25 new year-round jobs.

Premier Inn estimates the hotel could provide 21,500 overnight stays in Berwick each year, with potential to attract substantial visitor spending of approximately £940,000 per annum.