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Sale of Bushmills Inn confirmed after being bought by Holywood investment fund

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The Bushmills Inn.

The Bushmills Inn.

The Bushmills Inn.

Holywood-based investment fund Wirefox has bought the Bushmills Inn Hotel and restaurant, it’s been announced.

The investment company, owner of CastleCourt Shopping Centre in Belfast, purchased the Causeway Coast establishment for an undisclosed sum from owners, Alan and Zoe Dunlop.

Wirefox, headed by Bernard Eastwood, the 37-year-old grandson of the late bookmaker Barney, bought the property through its Marram Hotel Partners entity, which last year purchased The Scores Hotel in St Andrews, Scotland.

The property will continue to operate in its current form with the existing team remaining in place, Wirefox said. The imminent sale was first revealed by the Belfast Telegraph.

Alan Dunlop, managing director of the hotel for more than three decades and owner for 15 years, said: "The Bushmills Inn Hotel has played an important role in Northern Ireland’s tourism development for generations and we’re proud of the role we have played in supporting its success and in creating value, jobs and economic wealth for the community and region.

"We’re really pleased that, at this juncture, we are transferring ownership to leading investment company Wirefox.

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"We are delighted by the exciting, visionary plans it has for its future which will ensure it will remain a major tourism focal point for the region to be enjoyed by visitors for many years ahead.”

Kathryn Robinson, investment director at Wirefox, said: “We are delighted to welcome this fantastic team and impressive property to our growing portfolio of interests and look forward to acting as custodian of such an iconic asset in the months and years ahead.

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Bushmills Inn has grown to include 41 rooms and suites

Bushmills Inn has grown to include 41 rooms and suites

Bushmills Inn has grown to include 41 rooms and suites

“The Bushmills Inn Hotel is one of Northern Ireland’s best-known luxury hotel destinations, renowned for its warm hospitality and award-winning restaurant.

"The hotel is in an enviable location and surrounded by many of Northern Ireland’s most important tourism assets.”

Wirefox was advised by Belfast-based Davidson McDonnell Solicitors in relation to the acquisition.

While the sale figure was not disclosed, Bushmills Hotels Ltd reported fixed assets of £2.4m in its latest unaudited financial statements filed last week.

It also reported £1.8m cash in hand and in the bank, with £1.7m in debts, in its financial statements up to the end of December. Total equity in the company amounts to over £2.5m. The company employs approximately 60 people.

The former coaching inn on the Dunluce Road in Bushmills dates back to the early 17th century.

It has been extensively restored and extended in recent years and now has more then 40 rooms and suites along with the restaurant, bar and loft.

Wirefox, founded in 2014, is currently also involved in the final stages of the development of The Paper Exchange, a 200,000 sq ft office and mixed-use development in Belfast city centre and with the refurbishment of the former Oxford and Gloucester buildings at 46-63 Chichester Street. It bought CastleCourt for £125m in 2017.


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