Hastings Hotels to invest extra £23m in Belfast project
Luxury Grand Central Hotel on Bedford Street to have extra rooms
Hastings Hotels figures unveil the first of a series of building wraps that will tell the story of the £53 million hotel as it is built. Photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye
Hastings Hotels, one of Northern Ireland’s largest locally owned hospitality groups, is to increase its investment in a new luxury hotel project, currently under development in Belfast, by £23 million (€27 million) to £53 million.
The group, which part-owns Dublin’s five-star Merrion Hotel, has received revised planning approval from Belfast City Council to increase the size of its new Grand Central Hotel which was initially expected to cost in the region of £30 million.
The Hastings group, which is privately owned, intends to add a further 104 bedrooms on top of the originally planned 200 rooms at the Grand Central Hotel.
The hotel is being developed on the site of a 23-storey Belfast landmark – Windsor House on Bedford Street – which is one of the tallest buildings on the island and which the Hastings Group acquired in a deal estimated to be worth £6.5 million.
Hastings currently operates six upmarket hotels across Northern Ireland, including the Europa in Belfast and the Everglades in Derry.
William Hastings, founder and chairman of Hastings Hotels, said the group’s £53 million Grand Central Hotel project represents its single biggest investment in more than six decades.
“The Grand Central Hotel will be more than a hotel when it opens in mid-2018. It is a legend reborn and, to celebrate this, we have created a building wrap, which will be changed at regular intervals before the hotel opens. It will help tell the story of the hotel as it is being built and pay tribute to some of the local companies we are working with who are each playing key roles in helping Hastings Hotels create this major development,” Sir William said.
The Northern Ireland hospitality group is working with a wide range of local companies during the build which is expected to generate 150 construction jobs. Its lead construction partner is Graham Construction, while the structural steel has been fabricated in Lisburn and the cladding has been sourced from a company in Moira.