Belfast Telegraph

Galgorm set to create 80 new jobs with £11m expansion

By John Mulgrew

The long-awaited £11m Galgorm Resort & Spa has finally been unveiled, with the new luxury spot creating 80 new jobs.

The top-end site outside Ballymena - which is owned by Paul and Nicholas Hill - has added a new 'thermal spa village' alongside 48 new deluxe guestrooms and suites.

Use of the new facilities - which includes riverside hot tubs, indoor and outdoor heated pools, steam rooms and saunas - will be available to all guests staying at the hotel.

Prices will vary, from £85 for a two-hour 'thermal village experience' with afternoon tea, while an extensive treatment package starts at £220 a head.

And deluxe guestrooms also start at £205 for bed and breakfast.

The project is part of an overall £35m investment in Galgorm over the last 10 years.

Unveiling the new spa, Paul Smyth, managing director, said: "The project was undertaken to create a world-class addition to the already outstanding guest facilities here.

"This latest chapter in the Galgorm story is a testament to the drive and vision of the team not just at Galgorm Resort & Spa, but also to Martin and Hamilton and the 100-strong construction team, and our architects Douglas Wallace who all worked together bring the development to life.

"We are grateful to the support of Invest NI who worked with us in making our vision a reality, the continued support of First Trust Bank and also to Tourism NI for their ongoing work in showcasing the excellence of our tourism offering across Ireland, Great Britain and beyond."

The development has been billed as the first of its kind in the British Isles.

The resort has undergone a series of expansions since it first opened its doors back in 1998.

Terence Brannigan, chairman of Tourism NI, said the expansion would help enhance Northern Ireland's reputation on the world stage.

"The vision, passion and commitment shown by the team at Galgorm Resort & Spa is reinforcing the message that Northern Ireland is competing on a global scale, and we look forward to welcoming the many thousands of visitors it will no doubt attract," he said.

Dublin firm Douglas Wallace has been behind the ambitious redevelopment.

And now its attention is being turned towards the Ballymena-based Hill family's Belfast hotel.

The Bedford has now grown to a 70-bedroom development, boasting four to five high-class suites.

Work has begun at the very early stage of the development on the building, which will include two restaurants, one aimed at non-hotel guests, along with a large banqueting hall.

The Scottish Mutual building was bought by the Hill family in 2013, after it was put on the market for £2m by the Republic's 'bad bank' Nama.

The Hill family also opened a new restaurant - Fratelli - in Belfast towards the end of last year.

Belfast Telegraph