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£12m hotel plan could create 80 jobs

By Symon Ross

Proposals have been submitted for a £12m hotel and restaurant development in Newry that could create up to 80 new jobs.

The planning application for a mixed use development to include a 120-bed Premier Inn hotel on the former ATS Garage site at Downshire Road was submitted by local developer Merit Investment and Properties, part of the Conway Group, .

The developers said the proposal — which also include plans for 22,000 sq ft of offices and a 200-seater restaurant — represent an investment of £12m and could be completed in 18 months.

Jarlath Conway, director at the Conway Group, said: “We have worked with Whitbread on the development of Lisburn’s first ever hotel which is set to open in September, in addition to other hotel opportunities throughout the country, and are therefore very familiar with the type of scheme and location which has worked successfully for them.

“We are confident that the proposed plans for the hotel and restaurant in Newry offers a great opportunity for the area in terms of bringing a high quality hotel operator to the area which will provide jobs and a boost to the local economy and tourism industry.”

Newry and Mourne District Council’s Mayor, John Feehan, welcomed the proposal, which it is estimated will create up to 80 new full and part-time jobs when built, in addition to construction jobs during the building phase.

“The City of Newry is ripe for this level of investment and development and the fact that a major UK hotel chain is keen to invest in this area illustrates how far Newry has progressed in recent years. A new hotel of this standard will represent a significant investment in the local economy, and the local jobs which would be created are also very welcome,” he said.

Mark Anderson, commercial & property director at Whitbread, owners of Premier Inn said the Newry site presented an attractive opportunity for his company.

Belfast-based Planning Consultancy, TSA Planning, is the planning agent for the scheme.

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