The development of a new hotel complex in west Cumbria is starting to take shape.

The steel frame of a new Travelodge, Marston’s pub and restaurant, and drive-through Costa in Workington has been put up.

The lift shaft has also been constructed and scaffolding has gone up to continue work on the structure, while the car park is also being covered with tarmac.

Work is due to be completed by May by developer Hinton Group.

Will Wilkinson, ward councillor for St Michael’s on the district and town council, said: “There isn’t a development in the town that isn’t good for it.

“We need to try and improve the area, anything that brings jobs in is good, although it could have a knock-on effect to other local businesses.”

Independent councillor Mr Wilkinson added that his election came after the decision to give the development the go-ahead had been taken by the previous Labour administration and it would be difficult to say if anything could have been done differently without all the information the previous council had.

He added: “We can’t just keep the status quo, we have to move forward and this is a forward thinking council. We want to improve the area, that was our idea when we put ourselves forward for election.

“There are many independent businesses that have invested in the town and they need to be recognised too. For example Jeff Taylor, and the Cumberland Arms - they’ve just finished refurbishing their buildings.

“It’s not all doom and gloom, there’s a lot of good work going on in the ward.

“These businesses need to be recognised, because it’s their money they are spending.”

The new Travelodge will have 78 rooms and the whole project, at The Green, opposite Allerdale House, is expected to create 50 jobs.

Councillor Mark Jenkinson, deputy leader of Allerdale council and portfolio holder for economic growth, said: “It’s great to see work progressing, I can see it everyday from my office at Allerdale House, it’s amazing how fast it’s coming together.

“We’re supportive of any business that wants to move or expand in the area.

“I’ve just been speaking at a large employer breakfast briefing where we touch base with large companies and employers and offer them support.

“It’s good to see expansion and it’s great to see we’re attracting national businesses to Workington.

“It shouts confidence in the future of our area.”

The land where the development is being erected was owned by Allerdale Council and was sold to the developer by the Allerdale Investment Partnership, a joint venture created to develop council’s surplus land.

Plans to build a Lidl next to Tesco, opposite the new budget hotel, are also on the cards.