Hotel to be built within Derry city walls

 

Plans were announced in Derry yesterday to build the first hotel within the city's historic walls in over a century.

Work on transforming a derelict site in Butcher Street into a £7 million, 96-bedroom hotel will start next month with a completion date of one year's time.

The development will be carried out by the Inner City Trust Group in conjunction with the Tower Hotel Group, which owns a chain of hotels in Dublin, Killarney, Sligo and Waterford.

The Department for Social Development will contribute £l.88 million to the development in the form of an urban development grant and a similar amount will be contributed by the European Investment Bank. Other contributors include the Inner City Trust (£l.5 million), the Tower Hotel Group (£l.25 million) and the International Fund for Ireland (£500,000).

Mr John Hunter, permanent secretary with the Department, said the development would create 57 full-time jobs. "This redevelopment . . . on one of the main streets within the city centre will also enhance the historic city conservation area," he added.

The chairman of the Tower Group, Mr Con Horgan, said this was the company's first venture in Northern Ireland. "The attractions of Derry, with its diversity, its location and its history, have a lot of advantages . . . the city offers us great potential", he said.