Belfast Telegraph

Hotel to open its Arms to tourists with major renovation

By Clare Weir

A historic Ballymena hotel is being restored to its former glory in a bid to attract business from international markets and capitalise on future tourism potential.

The three-star Adair Arms hotel was originally built in 1846 and is embarking on a redevelopment project, due to be completed by spring 2012, which will create eight new jobs across a variety of roles over the next three years.

The hotel is aiming to attract more visitors in the wake of the forthcoming Titanic centenary, the opening of the Causeway Visitor Centre and Londonderry's year as the UK City of Culture 2013.

Bedrooms, conference rooms and the restaurant and bar area will all be getting a facelift and a three-storey extension, new entrance and reception area will also be added.

Invest NI has offered the Adair Arms Hotel £130,000 towards the scheme.

Eugene McKeever, managing director of the McKeever Hotel Group which owns the Adair Arms, said that the redevelopment was important to secure the future success of the business.

"Modernising the hotel's interior while at the same time preserving its unique period character will enhance our overall attractiveness to potential international visitors," he said.

Alastair Hamilton, Invest NI's chief executive, added that the work will provide a boost to the local construction industry.

"The redevelopment project will inject new money into the economy, generating work for local tradesmen during the construction phase and creating valuable employment opportunities in the hospitality sector," he said.