Belfast Telegraph

Plans tweaked for £6.6m hotel in Portrush

Firm vows to preserve town's iconic old building

By Margaret Canning

Hotel group Andras has come up with new plans to revamp a hotel on the north coast in a £6.6m project which could bring around 90 jobs.

Andras Hotels, which is led by Lord Rana, said the revised plans for Portrush's old Londonderry Hotel would involve preserving listed buildings which face the town's Main Street.

A new extension will be built at the back of the site, providing new air-conditioned bedrooms.

The site has a long history, with the former Londonderry Hotel first opening its doors around 1895. It closed its doors in the 1980s.

Rajesh Rana, director of Andras Hotels, said: "Our vision is for an attractive, fully functional and boutique hotel that will bring this important site back to life as a hotel and will help to regenerate the Main Street and town centre area.

"The proposals are for a boutique hotel with 87 bedrooms, that will go a long way towards helping Portrush and the North Coast meet the growing demand for modern tourist accommodation."

Architect Dawson Stelfox from architecture practice Consarc said: "Initial plans were submitted in May 2017 for the proposed hotel.

"Following feedback from the local community, the proposals have been revised to ensure that the hotel will reflect and contribute to the vibrancy of the town.

"We have spent a considerable amount of time amending the original plans to address concerns. The proposals will respect and maintain the townscape character of Main Street through the retention of the existing buildings on Main Street.

"We will ensure these buildings are sensitively restored and we are pleased to be able to contribute positively to the regeneration of the centre of historic Portrush."

Brian Kelly, director of planning consultants Turley, said: "The new hotel will provide employment, both in the construction of the hotel, which will create 48 jobs and an additional 41 new jobs when the hotel opens.

"The hotel will also help to regenerate the area and will contribute a further £1.4m each year to the local economy. We are confident that the new proposed plans will deliver a hotel that is visually attractive, welcoming, befitting of its local environment and the history and vibrancy of this fantastic seaside town."

Tourism experts have said the town suffers from a lack of quality hotels.

Belfast Telegraph

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