SEDGEMOOR District Council has agreed to loan £500,000 to the company building Bridgwater’s new landmark Mercure Hotel to help it complete the project.

The new four-star hotel in Eastover has expanded to accommodate 119 rooms and will have upgraded facilities compared to the original plans.

The hotel had originally been touted to open in late 2017 - but now Deepak Chainrai of DC Hotels says the hotel will open -’as soon as possible, hopefully in advance of Bridgwater Carnival’.

Doug Bamsey, strategic director for Sedgemoor District Council said: “We have given a commercial loan of £500,000 to aid the completion of the Mercure Hotel, we have done so because we are keen to see it completed to a larger size than originally planned.

“It is something that will bring significant benefits to Bridgwater.

“As with any loan we have gone through due diligence and taken a decision which has involved members.

“It was discussed as a confidential item due to commercial sensitivity and agreed upon in principle by the full council.

“It is a commercial loan, so we will get a return on it so it makes good business sense

“It will earn interest and that is good for the council.

“This is a significant investment for Bridgwater, and is a key to the regeneration of Eastover – it is the most significant investment in the town centre for many years.”

Deepak Chainrai of DC Hotels, which is building the Mercure Hotel, confirmed his company had been granted a loan which had gone through the correct procedures.

“The money was needed to complete the hotel – we wanted to open it complete with 119 rooms from day one.

“You could say it has gone overbudget –it depends how you look at it; we are opening with a lot of upgraded facilities.

“The hotel will help bring tourism to the town – it will have a Marco Pierre-White Steakhouse which we hope will become a destination restaurant.

“We hope the hotel will be seen as something good for the town in time to come and people will appreciate it and how it will help put Bridgwater on the map.”

The hotel will also feature a gym, and a boardroom for up to 16 people.