Newry business family behind plan for new city centre hotel

The Toner family's proposal would see a new restaurant and hotel open onto The Mall in Newry
Ryan McAleer

A NEWRY business family has revealed its plans to open a hotel in the centre of the city.

The Toner family, which runs a long-established furniture and clothing store on Hill Street has submitted a planning application to transform the building.

The proposal, submitted to Newry, Mourne and Down District Council last month, seeks to convert the retail premises into a 40-bedroom hotel.

The plan would also entail opening a new restaurant, gym and coffee shop on the site.

It would involve demolishing part of the building to create a new four-storey extension.

The new hotel and restaurant would front onto The Mall, with the current Hill Street store turned into a coffee shop.

It's understood that the new venture would create around 15 jobs.

The bid was first reported by ‘Armagh I'. Irish industry monitor Construction Information Services has valued the project at around £2.1 million.

The application for the project has been submitted in the name of Mamboscope Developments, which was incorporated in September 2019.

The company is owned by Fiona, Maureen, and Belinda Toner.

Belfast-based GMR Architects has been tasked with designing the transformation project.

Hill Street is home to one of Newry's most successful home-grown businesses, First Derivatives.

The global fintech firm has 15 offices around the world, but its heart and headquarters remains in Newry, and in Hill Street specifically, where it has recently opened a new premises next to the cathedral.

First Derivatives is on course to increase its worldwide workforce to 3,400 by 2021. Key to the company's recruitment and induction strategy is that new staff from around the world spend a period working in Newry. It has significantly boosted footfall in the area and created more demand for accommodation.

The expansion of the Buttercrane and Quays Shopping centres on the Armagh side of the city in recent years has also impacted the footfall on Hill Street, traditionally seen as Newry's retail hub.

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