A Co Armagh hotel could be set to more than double in size after lodging plans for 45 extra rooms.
The Seagoe Hotel in Portadown currently has 34 rooms and previous planning permission had been granted to add 24 bedrooms but now the proposal would see it offer 79 bedrooms in total.
The hotel said the development would create 20 new jobs, increase its turnover by a third and add additional purchases of supplies from the local economy of £250,000 a year.
A planning statement for the Seagoe Hotel said that the proposal "seeks to invest in an existing accommodation resource at Seagoe Hotel, by providing further facilities to cater for additional tourists that visit the area and wider surroundings".
Plans would also include the realignment of car parking and all associated site works, while the extension would be located in the existing car park and garden area.
The hotel, which markets itself as “the Orchard County of Armagh’s best kept secret”, is owned by Paula and Darren Gilbert.
Jonathan Buckley, DUP MLA for Upper Bann, said that he welcomed the submitted plans.
“Portadown and the wider Craigavon area is in much need of additional hotel bed space to cater for an increase in visitor numbers from both business and tourism purposes,” he added.
“I would like to pay tribute to the vision of the proprietors of Seagoe Hotel and I will be following the application closely.”
A travel plan was also produced to encourage staff and visitors to the site to “use more sustainable alternatives than driving alone”.
It said that the hotel was “committed to the promotion” of sustainable transport modes and that the development would be accessible on foot, by bicycle and by public transport.
When the Gilberts bought the Seagoe in 2017, Paula Gilbert said she was looking forward to “developing a fantastic wedding and hospitality venue for the area”.
“We will improve our conference and meeting facilities and develop our wedding offerings,” she said.
Meanwhile, a £750,000 refurbishment of the Great Room restaurant and Cocktail Bar at Belfast’s five-star Merchant Hotel has begun, in an effort to “accentuate and celebrate” the original features of the listed building.