Belfast Telegraph

Marco Pierre White restaurant opening in Northern Ireland

By John Mulgrew

A hotel is set to create 47 new jobs - and will include a new restaurant from one of the UK's best-known celebrity chefs.

The Duddy Group is investing £7m to build a 116-bedroom Holiday Inn Express, in Londonderry. It will also include a Marco Pierre White New York Italian restaurant.

The eatery is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland and follows the chef's first foray here with a restaurant at a Belfast hotel last year.

The hotel will be located on the corner of Strand Road and Great James Street.

Plans for the development were revealed more than three years ago.

Brendan Duddy, from the Duddy Group, said: "This is an exciting development that will support the wider tourist and hospitality industry in Northern Ireland and provide a new base for visitors to explore the city and surrounding areas.

"We wanted to grow tourism in the north-west and create employment and business opportunities for service providers in the region."

Invest NI has offered £724,000 of support towards the hotel and the Department for Communities has offered £475,000 from its urban development grant. It has also secured £1m of funding from Whiterock Capital.

"The support from Invest NI and the Department for Communities will enable us to progress our investment plans, and we are aiming to have the hotel open for business by early 2018," Mr Duddy said.

Invest NI chief executive Alastair Hamilton added: "This new hotel will address a gap in provision of budget hotel accommodation in Londonderry by offering a three-star quality option for visitors.

"The hotel will have 116 bedrooms, a Marco Pierre White New York Italian Restaurant, two meeting rooms and three retail units and will provide accommodation for up to 40,000 visitors a year, bringing significant additional revenue to the city.

"The economic benefit also includes the creation of 47 jobs as well as employment generated during the construction phase and the ongoing benefit to the local supply chain through the purchasing of consumables for use in the hotel."

Pauline Campbell, director at Department for Communities, said: "The £475,000 investment from the department will unlock significant private and public investment into this project."

Belfast Telegraph