01/10/2008

£15m City Hotel Development Opens In Belfast

One of Belfast's latest regeneration schemes will be unveiled later today - following the £15m transformation of a derelict Victorian building into an ultra-modern city centre hotel.

The Four Corners site, located in the emerging 'Cathedral Quarter', lay dormant for more than a decade.

Now, after a major investment from a UK hotel chain, the site boasts 171-beds and a 200-seater restaurant and bar.

The former bank, which underwent an extensive rebuild, has become the city's second Premier Inn hotel, and will add an additional 75 jobs to the local economy.

Regeneration Minister Margaret Ritchie (pictured) welcomed the scheme.

"It provides a new place for people to spend their leisure time and a destination to attract greater numbers of visitors to the area.

"Last week at the Belfast Evening Economy Conference I said that this growing modern city needs a vibrant evening economy and this £15m development is yet another step in that direction."
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The Four Corners building was one of the last projects to be put forward by the now defunct Laganside Corporation.

Award-winning architects Colin Conn, Albert Fry Associates and Buro Happold, designed the scheme, with construction works undertaken by the Patton Group. Durnien.com led the project.

Its Managing Director Paul Durnien told the Belfast Telegraph: "The building had been vacant for around 15 years and was in a very poor state when work began.

"The architect, Colin Conn, who is best known for his work on the spire at St Anne's Cathedral, worked with us to create a development that would transform this gateway to the Cathedral Quarter, inject vitality into the area and preserve the unique character of the building by retaining the front facades on Donegall Street.

"The other exciting element of this project was to develop Warehouse Lane and reinstate a link between Waring Street and Exchange Place," added Mr Durnien.

The new hotel will open to the public on Monday.

Premier Inn owners, Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants, opened their first hotel in Belfast on Alfred Street last year.

(PR/JM)

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