Belfast Telegraph

£8m Bangor Premier Inn brings 35 hotel jobs to Co Down seaside town

Premier Inn
Premier Inn
Kevin Murray
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

Hotel giant Premier Inn has opened up its latest Northern Ireland hotel in Bangor in an £8m investment creating 35 jobs.

The 85-bedroomed hotel is the eighth Premier Inn venue here.

Its latest opening is in Castle Park Avenue, metres from Bangor Castle and within walking distance of Bangor Marina and the town centre.

A spokesman for Premier Inn said it marked an £8m investment by parent company Whitbread and contractor Conway Group.

And the opening is the latest boost for the town.

In May Ards and North Down Borough Council signed a £50m agreement with Bangor Marine for work on a mixed-use redevelopment of Queen's Parade - a long-awaited project.

And the town has also secured £60m from the Belfast Region City Deal for the regeneration of a two-mile stretch of the coastline from Pickie to Ballymacormick Point. Bill Keery, DUP mayor of Ards and North Down, welcomed the opening. "It will make a very significant contribution to the accommodation offering locally and is much needed as we begin to explore other exciting opportunities for the town that will attract more visitors over the next five years," he said.

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Kevin Murray, head of acquisitions for Premier Inn in Ireland and northern England, said: "The hotel is right where our customers will want us to be, with the transport connections and accessible parking they expect from Premier Inn, and features our latest specification bedrooms and family-friendly in-house restaurant.

"It's an excellent showcase for the quality of our hotels and we're expecting it will be popular with leisure and business guests year-round."

Kevin McGurgan, construction director for Conway Group, which is based in Magerhafelt, said: "We are delighted to have successfully developed yet another high-quality Premier Inn Hotel, to add to our commercial investment portfolio.

"The new hotel in Bangor is the latest scheme which we have developed in conjunction with Whitbread, having previously built and developed new Premier Inn Hotel accommodation in Lisburn, Crescent Link/Altnagelvin, Carrickfergus and Waring Street, Belfast."

Whitbread has announced plans to extend Premier Inn from 76,000 rooms to 110,000 in the UK and Ireland. It's already planning 2,500 Premier Inn rooms in Dublin.

Mr McGurgan said he hoped the company would be involved in the Premier Inn expansion programme in the UK and Ireland.

The Department for Communities announced in May that Bangor Marine had been appointed to carry out the long-awaited revamp of Queen's Parade.

Bangor Marine, a joint venture of Karl Group and Farrans, plans a public area including events space, a hotel, cafes, homes and office space.

Development of the area has been discussed since around 1997.

A 12-week period of consultation is now being held.

Todd Architects are the designers behind the new waterfront redevelopment, while celebrity designer Wayne Hemingway is an advisor on the project.

Aran Blackbourne, director of Karl Group, told the Belfast Telegraph that Mr Hemingway was bringing "great ideas" to the project.

Belfast Telegraph