Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Ramada Encore hotel goes into administration as NAMA firesale fears rekindled

A leading Northern Ireland hotel has been put into administration by the Republic’s ‘toxic bank’ Nama, it was reported last night.

East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell said the Ramada Encore, Portrush, owned by the Kennedy family, was put into administration yesterday. It was built where the old Northern Counties Hotel once stood.

Mr Campbell said it could mark the start of a  fire sale by Nama of properties it holds north of the border.

Nama has always maintained it is not in its interests to have a fire sale in Northern Ireland.

The owners were informed on Thursday afternoon that administrators had been appointed and will now run the hotel, accordong to BBCNI.

The 50 full-time and part-time staff have been informed.

The owners said that despite several requests, they had been unable to meet with Nama over the past few months.

In a statement on the hotel's Facebook site, Alistair Kennedy said the business would trade as normal.

"We have been assured that all bookings and reservations are safe," he said.

"The Kennedy family who have owned and operated the hotel for the past 11 years would like to thank all our customers and friends for the support and custom they have given us over that period of time."

Mr Kennedy said he hoped customers would continue to support the hotel's staff "during what is obviously going to be a very difficult period for all involved".

Mr Campbell said the hotel was "quite crucial" to the causeway coast area.

"This is a well-run profitable establishment and the owners and many people in the community can't understand why Nama has moved to put it into administration," he said.