Focus Hotels has signed a franchise agreement with Accor to operate 10 existing hotels under the Mercure brand. The deal is part of Accor’s expansion plans to more than double its number of UK hotels to 300 by 2015, 43 of which will be in the midscale Mercure name. As a result, Mercure will add 763 rooms from 10 hotels that had gone into administration. “Mercure will allow [these hotels] to maintain their individuality and character whilst offering the credibility of one of the most respected international hotel brands,” said Jean-Jacques Dessors, chief operating officer of Accor UK and Ireland. The new Mercure hotels will open Bowden, Blackburn, Chester, Hatfield Oak, Hull, Stafford, Swindon, Telford, Wigan and Wolverhampton.