Belfast Telegraph

Belfast's Benedicts Hotel to expand with 24 extra rooms - and a second hotel in Cathedral Quarter

By John Mulgrew

A major extension to one of Belfast's best-known hotels has been given the green light while a brand new hotel from the same developers could bring up to 100 jobs to the city.

The 32-bedroom Benedicts Hotel on Bradbury Place is set to be extended by a further 24 rooms, with attached buildings on the Donegall Road being knocked down to make way.

Owners Paddy and Edmund Simpson are set to expand their city hotel as part of a £2.5m investment.

Planning for the five-storey development was given the go-ahead by Belfast City Council.

"It will be on the Donegall Road, and attached at the back with access," Patrick Simpson told the Belfast Telegraph.

"There will be bigger rooms. Our room occupancy has been very good."

Benedicts currently employs 98 staff, with that number likely to rise once the expansion is completed.

"We are improving it, and we would hope to get started around January or February." The hotel was opened in 1998 at a cost of around £4m. It also boasts an upstairs restaurant and a large downstairs bar.

And the hoteliers are planning to open a new spot in the ever-expanding Cathedral Quarter area of the city centre.

It's a multi-million pound project which could see a 40-bedroom built close to an existing Premier Inn on Waring Street.

The new hotel will take over a warehouse on Donegall Street.

Patrick Simpson said he hoped to submit a planning application for the boutique hotel on Donegall Street in the next few months.

The group also owns a number of buildings in Belfast and has just completed building nine football pitches in Londonderry, creating six new jobs.

The new hotel would be the latest addition to the Cathedral Quarter area, and comes after it was revealed Ox chef Gareth McCaughey is opening a restaurant close by.

Belfast has witnessed a lot of hotel activity take place in the last few months, with a number of massive projects planned. One of those is the £30m four-star, 200-bedroom Belfast Grand Central Hotel which will transform 23-storey Windsor House in the city centre.

And last month the Belfast Telegraph revealed work will start in September on the long-awaited Belfast hotel project at the former Scottish Mutual building.

Meanwhile, the former Harland & Wolff drawing offices are being turned into a hotel, with another large hotel proposed as part of the City Quays development.

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