MILLIONAIRE hotelier Jeremy Mogford is hoping to expand in Oxford by renovating a city centre building.

His company, Mogford Hotels and Restaurants, has submitted plans to convert 36 St Giles into a hotel.

The building, which is Grade II- listed, is currently used by his company as an office.

Mr Mogford already runs the Old Parsonage hotel in St Giles, along with the Old Bank hotel in High Street and the restaurants Quod, in High Street, and Gees, in Banbury Road He was the founder of the Browns restaurant chain, which he has since sold.

Mr Mogford said: “The plan is that we would work to convert the building into five really nice bedrooms, to be run in association with the Old Parsonage hotel, which is nearby.

“At the moment, it is just used as offices.

“We have already got permission at the Old Parsonage for extra bedrooms at the back, which means that we used to have 30 rooms and now it is 35.

“If we are successful, this will add another five.”

He said the need for the extra rooms was because of the popularity of the Old Parsonage, where he has already carried out a “top-to-bottom” refurbishment, costing £1.5m, and last year completed a £500,000 restoration of Gees.

But he said there was still a lack of hotel accommodation in Oxford.

He said: “Both our hotels run at fairly high occupancy and it’s caused by a shortage of available buildings.

“When I opened the Old Bank 16 years ago, it was the first new hotel to open in Oxford for quite a few years.”

Giles Ingram, the director of local tourist board Experience Oxfordshire, agreed there was not enough hotel space.

He said: “Oxford has comparatively high occupancy rates among UK cities and it’s a very attractive place for the hotel industry to invest.

“Certainly at the four star and upwards end of the market occupancy rates are very high, and at the budget end a number of companies are coming into the city, so we will see how that changes things.

“Having more hotel space would enable more visitors to be accommodated in the city and attract their spending in restaurants, shops and all the other businesses that depend on tourism.”

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