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Updated: Jan 13, 2023






A long-standing relationship with Whitbread has seen Vale Southern deliver 22 Premier Inn projects across the UK, including new builds, conversions, refurbishments and extensions.

The Brief

After proving its expertise fitting out pubs for Whitbread, Vale Southern was selected by the hospitality business to help refurbish and develop its Premier Inn chain. The partnership required a contractor with the skills to deliver a wide range of construction work in short timeframes, including refurbishments, conversions, extensions and new builds.

Specialist Skills

Vale Southern’s scope of works began with smaller scale refurbishments and then quickly evolved into larger and more complex projects.

The majority involved the construction of timber frame structures, enabling new hotels and extensions to be completed quickly and reducing environmental impact.

With construction programmes for new builds totalling between six and 12 months, speed was a priority for all projects. This demanded careful planning and programming to ensure materials were procured in time and that deliveries and subcontractors were stringently managed.

With many of the hotels located in constrained city centre sites, logistical hurdles also had to be overcome. The Vale Southern team built strong working relationships with local authority stakeholders to help minimise any disruption. This was particularly important when craning the timber frame components onto site which often required surrounding roads to be closed.

A Diverse Portfolio

The projects delivered by Vale Southern span the whole of the UK from Durham down to Dorset. As a Plymouth-based contractor, Vale Southern recruited local people to bolster the workforce and some of its site management team relocated for the duration of each contract.

The works included extensions ranging from 8 - 26 bedrooms and multi-million-pound new builds. The largest saw the team construct a 102-bedroom hotel in Exeter; the £4.4m contract was delivered in 52 weeks.

Two contracts involved specialist conversion work. In York, the team transformed a four-storey office building into a 91-bed hotel with a bar and restaurant within 26 weeks. Elsewhere in Leicester, open-plan office space was converted into a 135-bed hotel within 38 weeks. Both involved metal stud plasterboard partitioning to form bedrooms and bathrooms as well as a full fit out.

Partnering for Success

The standard of Vale Southern’s work has resulted in a 16-year client relationship with Whitbread. Premier Inns nationwide have been upgraded and expanded with a focus on quality, efficiency and safety.

Oliver West, Managing Director of Vale Southern, said: “This extensive portfolio is testament to our flexible, can-do approach. Working collaboratively with the Whitbread team, we have delivered a broad range of projects, each requiring specialist construction and management skills. Our team has met critical handover dates, enabling each hotel to open their doors on time and serve thousands of customers.”


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