Belfast Telegraph

Hotel plan for Bangor leisure centre used as High Rise movie set

By Rachel Martin

A disused leisure centre where the apocalyptic movie High Rise was shot has been earmarked for a four-storey hotel development.

The old Bangor Castle Leisure Centre site could make way for an 85-bedroom Premier Inn hotel - should councillors approve a planning application.

The town centre hotel is expected to cost around £7m to build and will create up to 30 jobs when opened.

It's expected the hotel on Castle Park Avenue could open in 2018 if the Ards and North Down planning committee gives the proposal the green light.

The budget hotel chain has been looking for a suitable site in the resort town for a number of years. The chain is the UK's biggest, with more than 700 operations.

The plans are for a hotel with a reception foyer, lobby area, restaurant and service accommodation on the ground floor.

Space to the back of the site will become a car park, with some parking also at the front.

Premier Inn already runs seven hotels in Northern Ireland: its Belfast branches on Alfred Street, Cathedral Quarter and Titanic Quarter, as well as others in Lisburn, Carrickfergus, Coleraine and Londonderry.

Matt Aubrey, acquisitions manager for Premier Inn, said the plans would be submitted with development partner, Magherafelt firm Conway Group.

The old leisure centre was closed in 2012 when the £38m Aurora Leisure Centre complex was opened. The building has since been used for police training as well as sets for movies Lost City Of Z and Ben Wheatley's film adaptation of JG Ballard's High Rise, starring Tom Hiddleston.

In a separate development, Conway Group plans to build 14 luxury apartments beside the proposed hotel.

The apartment complex is expected to cost a further £2m.

In the meantime, it's estimated that the developments will create 80 jobs in the local construction sector.

Belfast Telegraph

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