Tourism bosses set sights on boutique hotel in Lincoln

Lincolnshire tourism bosses are keen to attract a boutique hotel to Lincoln to tackle the very high occupancy rates in the city over recent years.

A report to county councillors has suggested a branded boutique hotel such as a Hotel Indigo should be a priority for Lincoln.

Lincoln has struggled to cope with capacity in 2015 and 2016 as over £500,000 was lost in business tourism in 2014-15 due to the city not having enough suitable accommodation for meetings, conferences and exhibitions.

The city has the most significant supply of the 106 hotels in Greater Lincolnshire, which provide 4,459 bedrooms with a capacity for 3.3 million overnight stays every year.

Over the last decade, Lincoln has seen a new DoubleTree by Hilton open on Brayford Wharf and a Premier Inn on Broadgate.

There is also an 127 bedroom Travelodge in development on Tentercroft Street in Lincoln and a 56 room Travelodge in Gainsborough.

In the report to councillors, tourism manager Mary Powell said: “The shortage of visitor accommodation in Lincolnshire has been of concern for some time.

“In 2008 a hotel demand study was commissioned for Greater Lincolnshire and this did lead subsequently to new developments, such as the Hilton DoubleTree and Premier Inn in Lincoln.

“However we were disappointed not to have achieved more, particularly as the two new hotels in Lincoln indicated that the £22 million redevelopment of the castle was a contributory factor.

“Hotel occupancy rates in 2015 and 2016 have been extremely high and this has rolled out across the county as the city has not had the capacity to cope.”

Other ambitions include a Hampton by Hilton or Holiday Inn Express at the proposed new Scunthorpe United football stadium, although this is likely to take some years to come to fruition if indeed the project ever moves forward.

A similar upper-tier budget hotel is being suggested for Cartergate in Grimsby and at the Grantham Designer Outlet Village.

Tourism bosses are also keen to invest in existing hotels in most of the larger towns in the county such as Boston and Skegness, and have expressed an interest in exploring the potential for a boutique hotel in Stamford, despite no development opportunities having been developed.

Similarly, priorities for smaller towns including Alford and Horncastle are to upgrade existing three-star hotels and develop pub accommodation.

Councillors on Lincolnshire County Council’s Environment and Economy Scrutiny Committee will consider the proposals and the next steps to take at a meeting in Lincoln on Tuesday, February 27.