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Council gives the go-ahead for £8m city centre hotel

By Lesley Houston

Published 17/02/2016

The Waring will reincarnate the former War Memorial Building at Waring Street - one of only two listed buildings in Belfast from the 1950s - into a designer building with 63 rooms
The Waring will reincarnate the former War Memorial Building at Waring Street - one of only two listed buildings in Belfast from the 1950s - into a designer building with 63 rooms

Belfast's Cathedral Quarter will boast an additional hotel by the end of next year.

Belfast City Council last night gave the green light to the new £8m development creating 60 jobs amid surroundings steeped in history.

The Waring will reincarnate the former War Memorial Building at Waring Street - one of only two listed buildings in Belfast from the 1950s - into a designer building with 63 rooms.

Part of proposals yet to be decided is the reopening of the historic Sugar House Lane entry, which marks one of the hotel's boundaries and which has links to Henry Joy McCracken in the 1790s, who formed the United Irishmen at the Dr Franklin's Public House located there.

He was later allegedly betrayed by a barmaid working there who was a government spy, before being hanged.

The entry itself dates back to the 1600s, one of the oldest in Belfast, and was bombed by the Luftwaffe in 1941 before being blocked off in the 1970s.

In a nod to its notorious history, the four-star Waring's restaurant, bar and café will be called Franklin's.

Business partners Andre Graham and Seamus Sweeney bought the building for £1.2m last year, having sold their previous businesses - Belfast gay venues The Kremlin, Union Street and Shoe Factory - for £3m in 2014.

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