Proposed hotel and serviced apartments set to transform Portrush

How the new Portrush hotel will look

PREVIOUSLY-refused plans for a £6.6 million hotel which could transform the economy of Portrush are to be considered by Causeway Coast and Glens Council this week.

An 87-bedroom boutique hotel is being proposed on the site of the former Londonderry Hotel on Main Street/Atlantic Avenue, which will preserve and restore the grade B1 listed buildings fronting on to the seaside town's main street.

When complete, the project will contribute an estimated £1.4 million a year to the local economy and create 48 jobs during the construction phase and another 41 posts when the hotel opens.

The plans have been submitted by Andras Hotels which, following feedback from the local community and since the building was listed to B1 standard, have completely revised the proposals to ensure the hotel will reflect and contribute to the vibrancy of the town

The application has been recommended for refusal in part due to concerns raised by Historical Environment Division.

But the new application will see the important front terraces retained, refurbished and enhanced while the rear parts of the site will be redeveloped to provide new build construction which will host the majority of the bedrooms and public areas on ground floor.

A viability assessment was carried out on the existing building which found that it cannot be brought into economic use if fully retained.

The existing building hosts a licenced premise, the Atlantic Bar, which is due to be relocated into the listed former Northern Bank premises, opposite the hotel site on Main Street, which Andras Hotels is also planning to refurbish and restore.

Rajesh Rana, director of Andras Hotels, said: "We hope councillors will recognise the tourism benefit and economic investment we are seeking to deliver for the town and wider area and approve the application.”

“Our vision is for a beautiful fully functional boutique hotel that will bring this important site back to life as a hotel and will help to regenerate the town centre.

"Portrush and the North Coast is a major tourist destination that is under-served by modern hotel accommodation. The projects will serve the mid-market audience, which will be geared towards families, overseas visitors and the important golf market.

“If approved, we intend to start work on the hotel in the new year and open our doors by the start of 2021.”

Neville Moore, managing director of the Whitehouse Portrush, said: "I'm delighted to support these revised proposals, which are strategically important for Portrush and will significantly enhance the economic activity of the wider town centre area."

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