Local hotelier ‘hopeful’ of green light for Portrush project

Posted By:
Andras House Ltd

23rd Feb 2022

Andras Hotels, Northern Ireland’s largest hotel group, has submitted revised plans for its project in at the former Londonderry Hotel on Main Street, Portrush.

The updated scheme, designed by conservation specialists Consarc Architects, will provide 83 guest bedrooms and public areas which will include a cafe, bar and restaurant.

Director of Andras Hotels, Rajesh Rana, said ‘We are excited at the prospect of moving towards a start date for this hotel. After lengthy discussions with the planners in the Department for Infrastructure, our architects have come up with a solution that marks a turning point in this story.

‘The designs they have submitted are heritage-led and will make a genuinely positive contribution to this listed building. This sensitive intervention preserves the best of the remaining fabric of the building while providing much needed tourism accommodation for the North Coast.

‘The Londonderry Hotel is in fact one of two listed buildings that we will restore as part of the same project. The second building is the former Northern Bank, located just across the road, which will be converted into serviced apartments.’

The planning application was approved by the Planning Committee at Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council in January 2019.

Mr Rana acknowledged the support the project has received from the Council, saying ‘The Council have been supportive of this project from the start. The economic development team and elected representatives understand the need to restore these buildings, which are located at the heart of an area that has been designated as in need of regeneration by the Department for Communities.

He went on ‘Our investment across the two buildings will total £10m and will create 48 jobs during the construction phase and a further 48 direct and indirect jobs when open and trading.

‘Our target now is to complete the project by the start of 2025 to be ready for the return of the Open Championship. That sounds a long way off, but with a lengthy lead-in time for detail design and contractor tendering, and up to 22 months for site works, we really need to have planning permission granted this spring to hit that target. The Council voted in favour of the planning application 3 years ago. We are now hopeful that the Department for Infrastructure will give the go-ahead to this important project.’

Mr Rana concluded ‘We have a number of projects that are good to go in Belfast, but we are desperate to invest outside of the city for our first time. So many people have commented on how much Portrush and the North Coast need this hotel and I am optimistic we can soon deliver this for the area.’