Hotel chain Premier Inn buys former M&S store in Dorchester

PREMIER Inn is to open a 100-bed hotel in Dorchester.

The chain has announced the purchase of the former Marks & Spencer premises in South Street and said it plans to submit a detailed proposal for the site later in the year.

M&S closed in 2020, with Dorchester a town long targeted by Premier Inn for development.

Now, the former M&S site has been sold to the hotel chain’s parent company, Whitbread.

Louise Woodruff, property acquisitions manager at Whitbread, said: “We are delighted to have purchased the former Marks & Spencer site on South Street and want to deliver a new hotel of around 100 beds, revitalising this key town centre site.

“Following some early engagement with Dorchester Town Council and other key stakeholders, we’ll spend the summer working on our plans before holding a public consultation in the early autumn, before submitting our plans to Dorset Council.

“We believe that a new hotel in Dorchester will strengthen the town’s brilliant tourism offer, regenerate a near-derelict site, offer more choice to visitors and bring jobs and investment to the local area.”

She said there would be a public consultation on plans for the site in the autumn, before a full planning application is submitted to Dorset Council.

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I am the editor in chief of Blackmore Vale media, which includes the New Blackmore Vale, New Stour & Avon, Salisbury & Avon Gazette and the Purbeck Gazette, having been a reporter for some 20 years. In my spare time, I am a festival lover, with a particular focus on Glastonbury. I live in Somerset with my wife and two children.