Construction work on Derry hotel to start within weeks
Work on a new 116-bed hotel in the heart of Londonderry will get under way before summer's end.
Planning permission has been granted for the Strand Road project, which is being developed by local family business the Duddy Group and is set to open in 2017.
The current building on the site will be demolished down to its foundations and replaced with the hotel, a number of retail outlets and a restaurant.
The development, which will significantly increase the bed space in the city in the face of increasing demand from tourists, is expected to be followed by a 24-bedroom boutique hotel on Foyle Street.
While that project is still in the early stages of planning, it is hoped it will breathe new life into the surrounding listed but dilapidated buildings.
City centre manager Jim Roddy said the tourism and night-time economies were booming.
"City centre hotel owners are telling me the figures for the first quarter of 2016 are up again this year, and they expect this to continue right throughout the rest of the year," he added.