THE £15m contract to build the Belfast Hilton is set to go to Antrim-based construction company Mivan, it was disclosed today.
The deal for the 187-bedroom hotel is expected to be signed over the weekend, and the aim is to start work on the site at Lanyon Place in Oxford Street on August 5.
The hotel, which is due to open for business in the summer of 1998, will be beside the £30m Waterfront Hall, which opens its doors next January.
Six Northern Ireland based construction companies were on the shortlist drawn up by the company in charge of the hotel project, Laganbank Hotel LtdLadbroke, which owns the Hilton chain, has a 75% stake in Laganbank Hotel, while the remaining 25% interest belongs to Ewart, the local property development company.
Ewart is responsible for the riverfront Lanyon Place development, which will incorporate the Hilton Hotel, the Waterfront Hall and a £30m corporate headquarters for British Telecom.
Barry Gilligan, chief executive of Ewart, said he could not make any comment today on the position over the construction contract.
But he stressed that the project had not been affected by the unrest which gripped Northern Ireland during the Twelfth week.
'We are still very positive about the entire development and are confident of making the investment in Lanyon Place a complete success,' he said.
Construction of the Hilton is expected to take two years, with up to 100 building jobs created.
For Mivan, which specialises in overseas construction projects, the contract will be the biggest signed so far in Northern Ireland.
The group, which has a total workforce of more than 3,000, is involved in activities ranging from shipfitting to construction.
In 1994 it was responsible for the restoration of the gold- topped Dome of the Rock on Jerusalem's Temple Mount.