South Yorkshire hotels for sale as chain battles to pay huge debts

Sheffield Central Travelodge
Sheffield Central Travelodge
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Travelodge wants to get rid of one of its South Yorkshire hotels and cut the rent it pays for other sites to help cope with huge debts.

The company is planning to offload its hotel at the motorway services on the junction of the M18/M180, near Hatfield, Doncaster.

It is also in talks with landlords to cut the rent it pays for hotels in the centre of Sheffield and Barnsley as part of a plan to cut its debts.

The company, which has three hotels in Sheffield, another three in Doncaster and single hotels in Barnsley and Chesterfield, says it wants to transfer just under a tenth of its 505 UK hotels to other operators.

Among those earmarked for transfer within the next six months is the company’s Hatfield site, where Travelodge is planning to cut the rent it pays by 45 per cent for the intervening period.

Travelodge wants to cut rental payments for a further 109 hotels by 25 per cent for three years – including those of its Sheffield Central Hotel, on Broad Street, off Park Square and its hotel at the Stairfoot Roundabout on Doncaster Road, Barnsley.

A total of 347 hotels, two offices and four restaurants would be retained at current rents and current payment terms.

Travelodge needs to get the agreement of at least three quarters of its creditors for its proposals – known as a Company Voluntary Arrangement, or CVA – to go ahead.

Richard Fleming, UK Head of Restructuring at accountants KPMG and proposed supervisor of the Travelodge CVA, said: “The impact of the economic downturn on Travelodge’s business has been compounded by a large debt burden and expensive lease arrangements.”

Mr Fleming said the Travelodge proposals were part of a wider restructuring plan to deal with leases that were mainly agreed during the pre-2008 property peaks and are proving ‘unsustainable’ in the current climate.

“With the support of its lenders, shareholders and landlords, the company will be able to reshape its debt and operational structure to a model more suited to these straitened times,” Mr Flemming added.