WORK has now got underway on an ambitious £6million development that will bring an 80-bedroom hotel and restaurant to Stourbridge

Construction has begun on the four-acre former Cox Hire site off Birmingham Street following sale of the land to Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants which aims to transform the major route into town with a new Premier Inn and Brewer's Fayre restaurant.

John Bates, head of acquisitions for UK and Ireland for Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants, said the development - a joint initiative with Worcestershire based property developers Barberry Developments - will create 65 new jobs and will "contribute to the wider regeneration of the town-centre, attracting new visitors to the local area and boosting local trade".

He added: "The new Premier Inn will be a great addition to the town and will provide the consistent high-quality, yet affordable accommodation, our customers expect. We look forward to opening our doors a soon as possible.”

Barberry director Martyn Cartwright said: “I am delighted the development phase can now get underway. It is a first class site for a Premier Inn hotel and Brewer’s Fayre restaurant and there is room for further development to complement these excellent new facilities.

“The scheme will create new jobs, attract additional visitors and support key businesses in the area.”

Parking spaces for 122 cars are also planned as part of the scheme, which is expected to be completed by the autumn.

Meanwhile Barberry Developments are also working on plans that could see a further acre of land next to the site transformed into a drive through, restaurant or retail outlet.

Mr Cartwright added: " Alternative uses may be considered subject to planning.”