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COVID-19 'won't affect income at Slough's new Moxy Hotel development', councillors told

Slough’s interim director of regeneration said he is confident the financial impact of COVID-19 will not affect the income of the council’s new hotel development.

The 152-bed Moxy Hotel and 92-suite Residence Inn is due to open in the town centre early next year, three months ahead of its anticipated April completion date.

The development, a joint venture between the council and Morgan Sindall Investments, will be operated by Cycas Hospitality over an initial 25-year lease with rental income paid to Slough Borough Council.

Councillors discussed the potential impact of changing travel plans and business trips on the hotel’s financial viability during a cabinet meeting on Monday.

Stephen Gibson, overseeing Slough’s ongoing regeneration, said: “It’s fair to say that hotel numbers won’t be as they should have been for the hotel opening but we’ve done prudent business planning and worked on the basis of being slow for the first three years and not get to full capacity until year four.

“’I’m pretty confident that over the lifetime of the hotel it won’t affect our income stream at all.”

Opposition councillor Wayne Strutton (Con, Haymill and Lynch Hill) responded: “Just to be clear, you don’t think there’s going to be any impact on the rental from the hotel and the cinema because of COVID?”

Council leader James Swindlehurst said the development was addressing a ‘chronic shortfall’ of hotel space in the town and would not be affected by a decline in international travel.

The meeting also heard a report detailing Slough Borough Council’s portfolio of investments and borrowing.

Director of finance Neil Wilcox said as of March 31, the council’s total borrowing stood at £631 million.

But he said he did not expect the council’s investments to be hit hard by COVID-19 as they are spread over a range of sectors, including leisure, office space and hotels.

Councillors heard how one of the council’s investments, the £8million Odeon Cinema in Basingstoke, was given a payment holiday over rent owed to the council earlier this year due to the impact of COVID-19 on the cinema industry.

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