Hilton Group checks in at SECC

30 May 2008

by Iain Lundy, Evening Times

The Hilton Group wants to open a new 250-bed hotel on Glasgow's SECC site.

Company chiefs say they want to take advantage of the city's increasingly buoyant hotel market.

A planning application for the new hotel - which will be run by a separate company under a franchise agreement - is due to be submitted to Glasgow City Council in the next few days.

It will operate as one of the group's Hilton Garden Inn brand - only the third in the UK after Cambridge and Aberdeen Airport.

There are more than 400 Garden Inns - described as mid-market hotels - in the US.

The company said the hotels are designed to cater for mid-market business travellers or leisure guests in key locations like airports.

The announcement was made by Nick Smart, Hilton's vice president development for UK and Ireland, on a visit to Glasgow. He was unable to confirm the exact location because of commercial reasons but said there would be a physical link between the hotel and the SECC.

Mr Smart added: "It will be franchised by a firm we have worked with before and which operates a franchise in Leeds for us."

It is estimated the hotel would be built within 18 months to two years.

He added: "The marketing organisations round Glasgow have done an incredible job of moving the city forward in the last few years.

"We have seen double digit sales growth on the back of investment and the market in Glasgow has been very buoyant.

"We are very positive about the Glasgow market and want to be part of it. We want to have a plan around the airport, the SECC and the city centre - these are the important locations for us."

He said the company's aim was to have a presence in every major Scottish city and town within the next few years.

Hilton owns two luxury hotels in Glasgow - the Hilton Glasgow in William Street and the Hilton Grosvenor in the West End.

As well as Garden Inns, the firm plans to introduce two other new brands to the UK - Doubletree by Hilton and Hampton by Hilton, both of which are popular in the US.

Mr Smart said that over the next five years it planned to double its presence in Scotland from 11 hotels to 22.

A city council spokeswoman said an application for the SECC site had not yet been received.

Reproduced with the permission of The Evening Times(Glasgow) © Newsquest (Herald & Times) Ltd.

 

  • Aerial view of SECC site