Major extension planned for under construction Derry hotel

Plans have been submitted for an extension to the under construction Holiday Inn Express hotel in Derry
Plans have been submitted for an extension to the under construction Holiday Inn Express hotel in Derry

ALMOST 40 bedrooms are set to be added to a new Derry hotel, due to open its doors next year.

The Duddy Group has submitted plans for an extension to its £7 million, 116-bed Holiday Inn Express, currently under construction at the corner of Strand Road and Great James Street.

If approved the development, at the site of the former Strand Bar and Flamin’ Jacks complex, would have a revised bedroom capacity of 155, with the additional 39 rooms created following alterations and a 300 sq m (3,229 sq ft) extension to the fourth floor of the building.

Speaking to the Derry News, Brendan Duddy of the Duddy Group said he hopes the new hotel will be open by March.

“We’re delighted to be extended the capacity, and we’ll be doing that through the conversion of what’s known as a ‘setback floor’, which will now be used for accommodation,” Mr Duddy said.

“We’re currently looking at a March 2019 opening date, and we’re excited about the impact this will have on the Strand Road area.

“There’s been a lot of investment in that part of the town over the past years, there’s a great variety of places to eat and of course we’ve had Primrose really putting a lot of effort in.

“Hopefully, we’ll also play our part in transforming the Strand Road and helping to increase footfall.”

The new Holiday Inn Express Hotel is set to create 47 jobs and is being supported by £724,000 of funding from Invest NI.

A further grant of £475,000 has come from the Department for Communities via its Urban Development Grant, while £1m of mezzanine funding has also been secured from Whiterock Capital through Invest NI’s Access to Finance strategy.

Featuring a Marco Pierre New York Italian restaurant, two meeting rooms and three retail units, the hotel is set to provide accommodation for up to 40,000 visitors per year, according to Invest NI chief executive, Alastair Hamilton.

"The addition of this internationally acknowledged brand will underline the city’s position as a quality destination and will contribute to achieving government’s targets to grow tourism revenues to £1bn and visitor numbers to 4.5 million by 2020," Mr Hamilton added.