UK-based hospitality company Whitbread has confirmed the acquisition of a new site for its second hotel in Cork, Ireland.

The site, currently home to the Leisureplex entertainment complex in the Victorian Quarter, is set to be redeveloped into a 168-bedroom Premier Inn hotel, pending planning permission.

While it is preparing plans and moving forward with the planning application for the development, the entertainment complex will remain open and continue to trade, the company noted.

The Leisureplex site will remain operational and continue to trade while Whitbread finalises its redevelopment plans and submits a planning application.

Whitbread Ireland development manager Matt Gent said: “Cork is a hugely successful city with thriving business, education, research and visitor economies. Paradoxically, it is also under-served by the type of affordable, flexible and family-friendly hotel accommodation that Premier Inn provides so well.

“We recently opened a new Premier Inn at Morrisons Quay to the south of Cork City and investing in a second location to the east of the city centre underlines our confidence in Cork as a visitor destination and secures another well-positioned hotel for our guests to enjoy in Ireland.”

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The company’s commitment to growth in Ireland was underscored by the recent opening of its first Premier Inn in Cork last month.

This 187-bedroom riverfront hotel, accompanied by three office buildings, has created 40 new jobs, with recruitment efforts concentrated within Cork City.

Whitbread’s portfolio in Ireland currently exceeds 1,000 Premier Inn bedrooms across six locations in Dublin and Cork.

The company’s vision includes a significant increase in its Irish presence, with a target of around 3,500 Premier Inn bedrooms.

The hospitality company recently acquired a development site on Rochdale Road in Manchester, UK.

Purchased from Premcor, the site has existing planning permission for a 229-bedroom hotel that will span ten storeys.

The planned Manchester Premier Inn will offer a range of room types, including standard and Premier Plus options, and feature an integrated restaurant, bar and check-in area on the ground floor.