Plans were unveiled today for a £5m hotel and restaurant complex in the Carryduff area, which will create up to 60 jobs.
A detailed planning application for a 60-bedroom hotel and 200-seat restaurant at Brackenvale on the Saintfield Road has been submitted.
The developers are Merit Investments and Properties, a subsidiary company of Conway Group from Magherafelt.
Jarlath Conway of Conway Group said the project could create up to 60 full and part-time jobs when completed as well as providing work for the construction sector during the building phase.
The company has won the support of the UK’s leading hotel and leisure group, Whitbread plc, operators of the Premier Inn chain.
But it is understood final agreement has yet to be reached as to who will operate the hotel.
Strangford MP Iris Robinson welcomed the proposed development and said: “This investment is another indication of the strength of Northern Ireland as a tourist destination and a location for new hotel development and investment.The local jobs which would be created are also very welcome”.
Mark Adams, the Northern Ireland acquisitions manager for Whitbread, said the Northern Ireland market provided the company with an attractive marketplace in which to expand.
“This area of greater Belfast is not currently fulfilling its potential and offers a superb opportunity to develop hospitality accommodation for both business and leisure tourists.
“Premier Inn currently has four hotels operating in Northern Ireland, with a fifth due to open at Hillsborough Road in Lisburn in September.”
Mr Conway said that his company had worked with Whitbread on the Lisburn hotel project.
“We are therefore very familiar with the type of scheme, format and location which has worked successfully for them and we would be keen to repeat that success at Saintfield Road.”