A HOTEL in Dorchester has been hailed as bringing a ‘new influx’ of visitors to Dorchester as it approaches a year since it first opened.

The Premier Inn at Brewery Square opened in March last year and it proved to be one of the firm’s most successful new openings.

The hotel has had an occupancy figure of around 80 per cent since it opened its doors.

Andrew Wadsworth, a director of Waterhouse which is developing Brewery Square in partnership with Resolution Property, said the Premier Inn the town centre scheme was a great success story.

He said that the number of people coming to stay at the 76-bedroom hotel suggested it was bringing new visitors to the town as there was nowhere for them to stay before it opened.

Mr Wadsworth said: “We are delighted with the tremendous success of the new Premier Inn – where were all those people staying before?

“We suspect the answer is that they weren’t staying in the town and therefore they represent a new influx of people into the town, which is one of the whole intentions of Brewery Square – to make Dorchester a much more attractive town to visit and stay in.”

Mr Wadsworth said the Brewery Square had invested around £5million in the Premier Inn building, which the hotel chain was renting off them.

The hotel has also brought with it a boost to the jobs market, with Premier Inn stating that it now employs 29 staff in Dorchester.

Mr Wadsworth said the success of the Premier Inn was encouraging for the second hotel proposed on the site, with the main Brewhouse due to be converted into a boutique hotel and spa.

He said: “It bodes very well for the potential success of the next hotel in the former Brewhouse.”

Mayor of Dorchester Stella Jones was also full of praise for what the hotel had brought to the town.

She said: “I think it’s been brilliant for the town.

“It’s something we have wanted for a long time, it’s brought lots more people into Dorchester and it’s good for everybody.”

Councillor Jones added: “I think it’s great how Brewery Square has come on from one thing to another with the development of all the shops and businesses in the square.”