£16.3m hotel set to boost jobs in Belfast


STAKIS, the Scottish hotel group, has announced it is to build a £16.3 million hotel on the outskirts of Belfast, employing 150 people.

The Northern Ireland Tourist Board will provide £4.3 million for the development at Templepatrick, Co Antrim.

The four star hotel will be called Stakis Ulster and will have 130 bedrooms, an 18 hole "golf course and conference and banqueting rooms for 500 guests.

The hotel, Stakis's first Northern Ireland venture, opens in September 1997. Construction begins at the end of this summer. Mr David Michels, Stakis's chief executive, said the company could "foresee further opportunities for development" in Northern Ireland.

Stakis had been interested in establishing a hotel in Northern Ireland before the IRA ceasefire, he said, and despite its breakdown the firm believed the hotel project was viable. "It is a question of doing well or very well," he said.

Mr Ian Henderson, chief executive of NITB, said the hotel was one of the most "positive tourism developments in Northern Ireland for many years".

Baroness Denton, the North's economy minister, said she hoped the Stakis investment would attract similar developments to Northern Ireland.

"Despite the recent breakdown in the ceasefire, the company has confirmed its faith in Northern Ireland as an excellent place to do business," she added.