A NEW hotel is set to open its doors in Bicester early next year and will create dozens of new jobs.

Building work is under way on an 80-bedroom Premier Inn, at the new Kingsmere housing estate, and it is expected to open in February.

The site is one of nine hotels being built across the country by the firm.

In the region of 65 jobs will be created at the Bicester hotel, and recruitment is expected to start towards the end of the year.

Whitbread, Premier Inn’s parent company, said the business aims to allocate 50 per cent of the jobs at new hotel and restaurant sites to local unemployed people.

John Bates, the head of acquisitions (UK and Ireland) for Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants, said: “We recently reported excellent sales growth at Premier Inn and we are expanding aggressively across the UK as we respond to strong demand and our customer’s desire for more Premier Inn bedrooms in more great locations.

“Not only is this great news for our customers but it is important for the region too as our investment will create jobs and help to attract additional visitors to the area, boosting the regional economy.”

Ben Jackson, president of Bicester Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the news.

He said: “The opening of the hotel will bring additional employment opportunity and hopefully increase extended stays to the area; resulting in more economic activity across the town.”

Bicester’s mayor Dan Sames said: “It’s a great opportunity for local people to gain a job in a sector that’s under-catered for in the town and provide a good career opportunity for young people.”