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Dad's Army platoon make appearance at opening of new Thetford Travelodge

PUBLISHED: 10:39 27 October 2016 | UPDATED: 10:39 27 October 2016

The platoon from the Dad's Army Museum attended the opening of the new Travelodge in Thetford's Riverside development.

The platoon from the Dad's Army Museum attended the opening of the new Travelodge in Thetford's Riverside development.

All rights reserved, Ben Phillips Photography

A new 62 bedroom hotel at the centre of an £8m town centre redevelopment has opened its doors - with help from some local television legends.

The opening of the new Travelodge in Thetford's Riverside development. Mayor Terry Jermy cuts the ribbon with Gary Steele, Travelodge regional director, and Matthew Merryweather, Thetford Travelodge manager.The opening of the new Travelodge in Thetford's Riverside development. Mayor Terry Jermy cuts the ribbon with Gary Steele, Travelodge regional director, and Matthew Merryweather, Thetford Travelodge manager.

Travelodge at the Riverside development in Thetford invited the platoon from the Dad’s Army Museum to attend its official opening, in honour of the town’s connection with the iconic TV series.

The original cast of the British series regularly enjoyed a drink at the Anchor pub, which formerly occupied the Riverside site, and the very first scene of Dad’s Army was filmed in the 18th century hotel’s Norvic Room.

To mark the Bridge Street site’s heritage, the hotel chain has placed a plaque on the exterior wall detailing Thetford’s association with the programme.

The platoon was joined at the opening by mayor of Thetford Terry Jermy and Travelodge regional director Gary Steele.

David Winch, The Land Group director, Gary Steele, Travelodge regional director, and Phil Cowen, Breckland Council executive member at the opening of the new Travelodge in Thetford's Riverside development.David Winch, The Land Group director, Gary Steele, Travelodge regional director, and Phil Cowen, Breckland Council executive member at the opening of the new Travelodge in Thetford's Riverside development.

The new hotel’s manager Matthew Merryweather, who has worked for Travelodge since 2009, said the hotel is already filling with business travellers during the week and leisure travellers at the weekend. It is the company’s 534th hotel and has created 15 new jobs.

Mr Merryweather said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be given this amazing opportunity. The hotel is in a great location and has got off to a flying start.”

The Riverside development project is being managed by Breckland Bridge, a partnership between Breckland Council and The Land Group.

Its first restaurant tenant, American bar and grill Grand Central, announced its tenancy earlier this month, and fit-out for The Light Cinema is underway with an opening date expected in December.

Breckland Council chairman Bill Borrett said: “I’m delighted that the first of our £8m leisure complex’s tenants has now opened its doors and warmly welcome Travelodge to Thetford.

“This is another major milestone for Thetford Riverside project, as well as progress towards realising the council’s vision to assist in the regeneration of the town.

“I look forward with keen anticipation to seeing locals and visitors alike making full use of the development when the cinema and restaurants open as well.”

David Winch, The Land Group director, said: “It is excellent to have such a well-known and recognised UK brand in town now helping to drive forward Breckland Council’s regeneration policies.

“We wish them every success and we are doing as much as we can to support them in their newest location.”

What do you think of the new Riverside development? Email bethany.whymark@archant.co.uk

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