Budget hotel chain Travelodge has confirmed it is pushing ahead with £42 million plans to open seven new hotels in the West Midlands.

The company said the move would create at least 200 new jobs in the region as it continues to expand its portfolio of sites across the UK.

The new hotels would be in either Edgbaston or Selly Oak in Birmingham, Solihull, Walsall, Wolverhampton, Worcester and two in Coventry.

Chief operation officer Craig Bonnar confirmed the news as the firm finished its second new hotel this year in the West Midlands when it launched a £6 million venue in Dudley town centre close to its famous Castle.

The new hotel has 78 bedrooms, a bar and café and free car park and has created 27 new jobs.

It is the second Travelodge in the Black Country town, built in partnership with Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council and Hinton Properties, and is situated on the former Royal Brierley Crystal factory.

This is one of the oldest crystal glass manufacturers in England and prior to that the site was a limestone quarry.

Its historical background has been marked in the new hotel development with windows displaying textured designs of fossils, shells and corals representing the limestone quarry alongside artwork created by Robert Colbourne.

Travelodge also commissioned local artist William H. Burgess to create a bespoke piece, entitled 'Welcome to Dudley'.

The group previously announced plans for further expansion across the West Midlands when it opened its new site on the edge of West Bromwich town centre in May.

Chief operation officer Craig Bonnar said: "We are thrilled to open our second hotel in Dudley's tourist hub and be a key facilitator in the town's regeneration.

"It's been a great opportunity to collaborate with the local council to help the community realise the income potential, job creation and other community benefits that a Travelodge-backed development scheme can bring to the area.

"As we look to the future, the West Midlands is a key growth area for Travelodge.

"The local economy is growing at pace and with increasing visitor numbers to the area, there is a big shortage of good quality and great value accommodation to meet customer demand.

"Therefore Travelodge is looking to expand its portfolio with a further seven hotels across the West Midlands."

Ian Austin, MP for Dudley North, added: "I am delighted that Travelodge is opening a new hotel in Dudley, bringing new jobs and more visitors to the area.

"I hope this will encourage more people to come to see some of the great attractions we have in the area and I wish Travelodge a successful future."