An Edinburgh backpackers’ hostel is to open a second site in the city as part of a £2.3 million investment which will create full-time 10 jobs.
St Christopher’s Inn on Market Street will expand into a historic building on the other side of the street, adding 139 beds, to the 180 it already operates.
The new venue at 32-38 Market Street will have 18 rooms including private two bed, en suites and dorms for up to 12 people.
St Christopher’s has been at 9-13 Market Street for almost 20 years. Parent company Beds and Bars operates hostels and bars in nine cities and seven countries, including its London Bridge venue which offers 26 Japanese-inspired self-contained pods. It also owns Belushi’s Bars.
Founder and CEO Keith Knowles said: “Our hostels and bars have never been more popular.Edinburgh has always been one of our consistently most successful venues and it’s brilliant that we are able to invest so heavily in what is a fabulous city.
“As well as being in a superb location, this new venue in Edinburgh will have some of the most eye-catching rooms we offer anywhere in Europe. This development will perfectly capture what is a very exciting time for our business.”
The new venue is a former fruit market which has also been the offices of the Royal Military Tattoo. A bed costs from £9.90 a night for a shared dorm and each comes with breakfast, free wifi, USB points and reading lights.
Most of the investment will be in the new venue, which has been designed by Michael Kalman from Leas Architects and constructionis being led by Sharkey.
But the original hostel will also benefit from a improvements and upgrades, including a revamped reception, chillout and breakfasting area.
Knowles added: “Since we first launched in Edinburgh in 2001, we are incredibly proud to have welcomed more than 275,000 guests to our hostel in the city. While most of those guests would have been young and probably on their first visit to Edinburgh, many of them will have come back again and again.
“The importance of giving young travellers a safe, secure and value for money experience during their first trip is priceless, particularly for a tourist city like Edinburgh.
“Beyond that wider value to the city, we’re also very pleased to be creating 10 full-time jobs and opportunities for young people in the burgeoning hospitality sector on top of the 30 already existing positions.”
In the year to March, Beds and Bars reported an 8% increase in revenues to £52.5 million. In June, it announced a £7.5 million investment programme in new and existing venues over the next financial year.