Travelodge is adding another 10 sites to its budget hotels chain including one in the West Midlands as it continues its push into city centres.

The group expanded faster than at any time in its history last year as competitors struggled in the recession and business travellers sought cheaper accommodation options.

Travelodge said the new sites, which have a combined investment value of £60.7 million, will add 1,133 rooms to its portfolio.

Most of the new hotels will be in major cities, including three new properties in London as the firm aims to be the biggest chain in the region by the 2012 Olympic Games although it plans to build a new hotel in Cannock in Staffordshire.

Its latest move is expected to create 300 jobs, with all entry-level staff being recruited from the long term unemployed via Job Centre Plus.

Paul Harvey, managing director for development, said: “During the recession we have taken the opportunity to grow where many have put their development on hold.

“In 2009 we secured more hotels than any other year in our history and have been able to attain superior sites due to lower property prices.”

The other new hotels will be in Bethnal Green, Bank and Ealing in London, the MEN Arena and Manchester University in Manchester, Bristol, Liverpool, Camberley, and Andover.

Half of Travelodge’s hotels are now in city centres after a five-year campaign by the firm to rebalance its portfolio away from its traditional roadside locations.

It said motorway and trunk route sites now represent just 25 per cent of its hotel stock with the remaining quarter in suburban, seaside and tourist areas.

The chain, which was launched in 1985 and employs 5,500 people, now operates over 390 hotels, or 28,000 rooms. Most of its properties are in the UK, but it does have 10 in Ireland and three in Spain.

Travelodge plans to expand its estate to around 1,000 hotels by 2020.