| 10.9°C Belfast

Larne FC's Purplebricks tycoon Bruce to open hotel in Co Antrim town

Kenny Bruce

The multi-millionaire owner of Larne FC is to open a new hotel in the Co Antrim port town.

Kenny Bruce, chief of the Irish League side, has been given the green light by planners to establish the boutique-style hotel.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council announced the decision yesterday.

Mr Bruce, who is the co-founder of online estate agency Purplebricks, said the hotel will offer 24 bedrooms and a rooftop terrace.

He added that it was an investment for the area.

"This is a great opportunity to bring a modern and high quality tourism offering to Larne and to invest in the wider area by providing employment," he explained.

"I look forward to working in partnership with planners and other stakeholders to ensure we meet the highest standards required of us."

Since taking control of the club in 2017 the businessman has invested millions of pounds at Inver Park, which in turn has helped the domestic game across the board.

Prior to Covid-19 stopping football, Larne were on a six-match winning run in the league and making a late dash to qualify for a European spot.

However, last month the entrepreneur became the first influential figure in local football to call for a conclusion to the 2019-20 20 season because of the pandemic.

In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph he said the public's safety outweighed the desire for the return of sport.

Mid and East Antrim Borough mayor Peter Johnston said Larne's tourism and hospitality industry had been given a boost following the approval by council planners.

He stressed it was particularly welcome news given the impact of the pandemic on the tourism sector here.

"It is a positive step towards regenerating our local tourism and hospitality industry as we chart a pathway to recovering from the devastating financial impact of Covid-19," said Mr Johnston.

"We have some of the most stunning scenery in Mid and East Antrim as the gateway to the world famous Causeway Coastal Route, and this new development will make it easier for us to showcase that to a wider audience."

Belfast Telegraph