London hotel deal worth £28m for Co Tyrone firm McAleer & Rushe
McAleer & Rushe follow in footsteps of local firms and win London contract
Co Tyrone construction firm McAleer & Rushe has signed a £28m deal to build a hotel development in south east London.
The deal is the latest in a series of London contracts for the firm, which has looked further afield for work given the muted state of building at home.
The firm will build a 14,500 square metre mixed-use development anchored by a hotel for Marlin Apartments, which runs blocks of serviced apartments around the city.
McAleer & Rushe - which famously built the W Hotel in Leicester Square - will also demolish a 1950s office block under the terms of the contract.
The deal was signed on Wednesday by McAleer & Rushe chief executive Eamonn Laverty and Susan Cully and John Corless from Marlin Apartments.
And it's understood the deal could also lead to work for McAleer & Rushe in Dublin.
Martin Magee, construction managing director at McAleer & Rushe, said: "This is a very handsome, well-located scheme which we are very proud to deliver."
The new scheme is close to Waterloo, the City of Westminster and the South Bank.
It will consist of a 218-room apart-hotel, six office suites, a restaurant and shops.
Susan Cully, managing director of Marlin Apartments, said: "The development on Westminster Bridge Road is a very exciting proposition for Marlin Apartments as it allows us to diversify our offering to both the corporate and leisure travel markets.
"By adopting the apart-hotel business model for the first time, we can offer guests a more compact offering but with the same high level of design, facilities, style, customer service and value as we already offer across Marlin Apartments' six other sites." Business surveys including the Ulster Bank's purchasing managers' index have suggested a pick-up in construction activity for firms in Northern Ireland.
However, the Construction Employers Federation has said pick-up is due mainly to firms getting work in other parts of the UK.
McAleer & Rushe has also been working on Holiday Inn Express and Crowne Plaza hotels in Aberdeen, and student accommodation in Stratford in east London.
Other Northern Ireland firms which are getting contracts away from home include O'Hare & McGovern, which is working on a £25m new build for Boroughmuir High School in Edinburgh.
The Northern Ireland Construction Bulletin for the second quarter of the year said construction output was at almost half its peak in 2007.
Managing director John Armstrong said at the time: "Without the remarkable success of our local companies in winning work in Britain, the Northern Irish construction industry would still be stuck in the doldrums."