As many as 21 new hotels could be opened by Travelodge in Scotland as part of expansion plans by the budget chain.

The company said the proposals have the potential to create more than 400 jobs.

A hotel in Peterhead opened yesterday, with further properties expected in Inverness and Stirling by the end of the year.

Travelodge chiefs said Scotland remains a key growth area and it was looking for 21 new sites.

Locations being considered include Ardrossan in North Ayrshire; Aviemore in the Highlands; Galashiels in the Borders; Kirkwall on Orkney; Lerwick on Shetland; Loch Lomond; Montrose in Angus; Oban in Argyll and Bute; and Pitlochry in Perthshire.

The company is also looking to double its portfolio of hotels in Glasgow with a further five locations.

Travelodge chairman Brian Wallace told the BBC: “The value hotel market continues to go from strength to strength in Scotland boosted by cost-conscious businesses looking to reduce travel costs and by the growth in independent leisure travel.

“To meet this growing demand, in addition to opening in Peterhead, Travelodge will be opening new hotels in Inverness and Stirling later this year.

“This is just the start, we are on a journey to become Britain’s favourite hotel for value and we have identified 21 locations across Scotland where we can bring good quality accommodation at a great value price.”