Marine Hotel unveils phase one of £1m expansion

Marine Hotel owners Colum McLornan and Claire Hunter pictured with Stephen Comer from First Trust Bank outside its newly refurbished premises.
Gareth McKeown

A POPULAR CO Antrim hotel has just completed part of a major £1m refurbishment as it continues expansion plans ahead of the 2019 Open Championship.

The Marine Hotel in Ballycastle has completed phase one of the work, which included the renovation of all 33 bedrooms and its seafood restaurant, Marconi's Bar & Bistro. The function room was also refurbished and now can hold up to 400 guests.

Phase two of the refurbishment, which will create an additional 10 jobs, includes 12 new executive bedrooms, additional event space and the upgrade of the hotel's exterior and is set to be complete by next year, in advance of golf's Open Championship, taking place at Royal Portrush in July.

The Marine Hotel was bought out of receivership in 2013 by experienced local business partners Colum McLornan and Claire Hunter. Since coming under their ownership, the Marine Hotel has created 36 new jobs - contributing over £2 million to the local economy in wages. The 10 new jobs will bring the total workforce at the hotel up to 46.

Mrs Hunter said the success of the hotel is down to putting a modern twist on traditional charms and harnessing the appeal of the local seafront area.

"Our aim is for Ballycastle to be a must-stop destination and for people who visit to linger longer - taking in the scenery and hospitality we have to offer. We are proud to play a key role contributing to the local economy with the creation of almost 50 new jobs in total since we opened in 2013 and we will continue to collaborate with other local businesses to distinguish Ballycastle as a hotspot for visitors.”

First Trust Bank has supported the investment and senior business manager, Stephen Comer added:

“The Marine Hotel under Colum and Claire's expert ownership, exemplifies three essential ingredients for success in tourism - demand, destination and desire. Its position as one of the most popular hotels in the area is also helping boost the growth of other businesses in Ballycastle and the Marine Hotel is now the main driver of Ballycastle as a destination."

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