Business

Green light for £1m bid to turn listed Portrush bank building into aparthotel

The former Northern Bank building in Portrush
Ryan McAleer

BELFAST hotel group Andras House has been granted planning approval to redevelop a former Northern Bank building in Portrush into an aparthotel.

Planning officials at Causeway Coast and Glens council had been delegated with the authority to determine whether or not the project could go ahead. They issued the green light on Thursday.

The listed building, which closed in 2012, will now be converted into six serviced apartments, with space for a ground floor café bar.

It’s expected to provide six new jobs for the north coast resort.

Andras House is headed by Rajesh Rana, the current president of Belfast Chamber. His group owns a series of hotels including the Crowne Plaza in Shawsbridge and the Hampton by Hilton hotel in Belfast city centre.

The old bank sits across the street from the former Londonderry Hotel in Portrush, which Andras will develop into a new £6.6m hotel.

In January, councillors on Causeway Coast and Glens’ planning committee voted to approve the 87-bed hotel project, against the recommendation of officials. It followed a series of interventions from leading business bodies in the north.

The latest investment in Portush by Andras House been valued at £1m by industry monitor Construction Information Services Ireland.

Unlike the Londonderry Hotel project, the planning application had been delegated to officials for approval.

A spokesperson for the Causeway Coast and Glens council said: “The former Northern Bank building is listed Grade B+. The building was listed in 1977 and has a distinctive architectural style and quality retaining much of its original character.

“The proposed works will retain and enhance the architectural features and bring this historic building back into use providing job creation for six staff.”

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