£5m hotel nears Belfast airport gets go-ahead
A new £5m hotel to be built near Belfast International Airport has been given the green light.
The 81-bedroom Premier Inn at Antrim Road in Crumlin will create 60 new jobs.
Permission has been given by the Planning Committee of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council following public consultation.
The new accommodation is being built by Moorefield Contracts next to the junction of Ballyrobin and Antrim roads.
Around 30 jobs are expected to be created in the construction phase and a further 30 once it opens.
There are already seven Premier Inn hotels in Northern Ireland - three in Belfast and one each in Carrickfergus, Lisburn, Coleraine and Londonderry.
The development comes as Belfast International Airport is sold to Vinci Airports in what is believed to be a multi-billion pound deal.
Canice Mallaghan of Moorefield Contracts said: "The demand for more hotel rooms has been created by the growth and success at the airport. We are excited by the opportunity to bring forward a new hotel creating a range of jobs in the process."
Philip Brett, committee chairman of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, said: "This is a fantastic investment in the tourism infrastructure of our borough.
"The development will create 81 bedrooms on a site of approximately eight hectares of land.
"It will also bring much-needed construction jobs to the area and increase the offering further to residents and visitors using the gateway of Belfast International Airport."
Tourism is estimated to have generated £38m in the Antrim and Newtownabbey economy in 2016. Last year, Belfast International Airport welcomed 5.8 million passengers.
Graham Keddie, managing director of Belfast International Airport, said: "The proposed hotel development mirrors wider economic activity at the airport and is a direct result of passenger growth.
"Clearly, there's a demand for new passenger and visitor facilities. The hotel isn't just good for the airport but good for the entire area."
Moorefield Contracts is also behind the convenience food and drink outlet and fuel forecourt anchored by M&S Simply Food, which has opened at Belfast International Airport.
Six national chains have taken space in the development including Burger King, Irish independent coffee chain Insomnia's first Northern Ireland branch, Subway, Chopstix and Emo.
Thirty-five full and part-time jobs were created.