Zeal Hotels reveals plans for net zero carbon hotel in Exeter

Zeal Hotels has announced the acquisition of the site for its forthcoming net zero carbon hotel, with the construction of this property beginning this July at Exeter Science Park.

The hospitality company has signed an Exclusivity Agreement with IHG Hotels & Resorts for the hotel and Valor Hospitality is to manage the property.

Sustainable development

The upscale 142-room net zero carbon hotel now set to take shape at Exeter Science Park is due to open in the fourth quarter of 2024. The lifestyle hotel is being designed to achieve a minimum BREEAM rating of Excellent, with a target of Outstanding. Solar panels will be used to ensure the property generates its own energy.

Tim Wheeldon, managing director, Zeal Hotels, said: “The final pieces of our plan to create the first net zero carbon branded hotel are coming together and we are thrilled to be starting work on this innovative and highly sustainable project.”

“Hospitality has been lagging behind other industries in its commitment to net zero carbon and we are looking forward to welcoming guests to join us on our journey. A fundamental requirement in the design of our new hotel is that it can be replicated and we are now seeking additional development opportunities in strategic locations throughout the UK.”

Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Recovery and Skills, said: “It’s excellent news that Exeter Science Park has been chosen as the home for this pioneering development and it matches our net zero carbon ambitions in Devon. The vision of the Science Park has always been to encourage innovation and sustainability, and that’s exactly what this exciting project provides.”

A low-carbon destination

At this net zero carbon hotel, the focus will be placed on locally sourced food and drink and amenities within the property will range from meeting space to a gym. The hotel will also have EV charging points.

By being located within Exeter Science Park, the property will be a convenient base for guests using Exeter Science Park, Exeter Business Park and Exeter Airport, along with those travelling to Devon and Cornwall.

Commenting on the plans, Dr Sally Basker, chief executive, Exeter Science Park Limited, said: “It’s very exciting to see work begin on Zeal’s innovative, ‘mindfully modern’ highly-sustainable, low-carbon hotel that will complement Exeter Science Park’s existing net zero carbon buildings.”

“This collaboration launches the next phase of growth at Exeter Science Park and we anticipate there will be great synergy for both organisations, with Zeal bringing many benefits to our businesses, which will be reciprocated through the Science Park providing facilities, such as meeting spaces, for Zeal Hotel residents.”

“We’re delighted to build on existing success to deliver an innovative, low-carbon destination that supports the development of a vibrant, STEMM community delivering extraordinary growth for our south-west region.”