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Council gives green light to new £30m hotel in Belfast


'Great news': Howard Hastings

'Great news': Howard Hastings

Brian Little/Presseye

'Great news': Howard Hastings

Work will begin early next year on the new £30m Grand Central hotel in Belfast, boss Howard Hastings has said.

The four-star, 200-bedroom Grand Central Hotel will transform 23-storey Windsor House in the city centre - the single biggest investment by family-run Hastings Hotels in its history.

Around 150 staff jobs will be created along with hundreds of others during construction at the Bedford Street landmark.

Planning permission for the hotel was awarded during a meeting of Belfast City Council's planning committee this week.

"The fact the planning is through is great news and the Grand Central Hotel remains on track to start work on site early in 2016," Howard Hastings, managing director of Hastings Hotels, said.

"Because planning powers have been reallocated to councils this is one of the first large-scale planning permissions coming through under the new regime and it came through in under four months.

"City Hall and its officers are to be congratulated and it is clear that they wish to set out that Belfast is open for business.

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"This is good news, not only for Hastings Hotels, but for all other potential investors in the city."

The hotel could be finished as early as late 2017.

Guest rooms will make up the first 16 floors of the building, with floors 17 and 18 boasting serviced apartments.

Aside from the Europa on Great Victoria Street, Hastings also owns the city's Stormont Hotel, the Culloden in Cultra, the Everglades in Londonderry, Ballygally Castle on the Antrim coast and the Slieve Donard in Newcastle, Co Down.