Travelodge has stepped up its rapid expansion plans and has bought 12 sites across the UK for £70m to develop new hotels providing 1,118 new rooms.

It has bought sites in including Bristol, Poole, Stockport, Maidenhead, Camberley, Chichester, Brombrough, Chesham, Norwich, Colwyn Bay, Morecambe and Newton Abbott.

Travelodge is also constructing a further 17 hotels, which upon completion, will add a further 1,686 rooms to the company’s portfolio.

Paul Harvey, manager director for development at Travelodge, said: ‘Despite the difficulties in the commercial property market we have been able to secure hotel sites in prime locations across the country.

‘To date in 2009 we have announced the exchange of 25 new hotels and the acquisition of four going concerns, securing us 2,800 rooms. With a strong pipeline of properties identified I fully expect us to have exchanged on at least 50 hotels by the end of the year.’

This latest investment in Travelodge’s expansion follows its plans to launch a £100m fund to invest in distressed hotel assets in partnership with Meghraj Properties, a fund manager for private families, as revealed in Property Week (17.06.09).

The fund, Tamesis Capital, will purchase from existing owners, banks and administrators hotels that are operating as going concerns and be let and rebrand as Travelodge hotels.

It will target the major UK cities and will be seeded with £20m of private equity, £20m of institutional equity and £60m of debt.