Approval expected for £14m Ebrington hotel

An artist's impression of what the Ebrington Hotel would look like in Ebrington Square.
An artist's impression of what the Ebrington Hotel would look like in Ebrington Square.

Sinn Fein Foyle Assembly candidate, Raymond McCartney, has said that a new 144-bedroom hotel at Ebrington is expected to be approved by the Department of Finance.

Mr. McCartney described the development as “fantastic news” and “a further example of the increasing development on the Ebrington site.”

“This new hotel is aimed primarily at the growing golfing market and is due to open for business in June, 2019 in line with the Open Golf Championship coming to the North,” he noted.

Mr. McCartney said that the £14 million development will be the “centre piece of the Ebrington site,” across five of the former army buildings including the ‘Clock Tower’ building.

When fully developed, it will include leisure, banquet and conference facilities and will create in excess of 100 full and part-time jobs.

Mr. McCartney added: “I understand that pre-planning discussion with the hotel developer and planning officials at Derry and Strabane District Council are ongoing and the planning application will be submitted in early Spring.

“This is great news.”

Mr McCartney also paid tribute to Finance Minister, Mairtin Ó Meuilleor for his role in progressing the project, while adding: “I welcome the further regeneration and job creation that this brings to the city.”

The new development comes just after planning permission was granted for the ‘Quiet Man’ Irish whiskey distillery and visitor centre, which will also be located along Ebrington Square.

The two massive projects are expected to help lead the transformation of the former military barracks into a major economic driver and tourism draw for the city and district.

The plans for a major hotel were first announced back in May, 2016, while the Executive Office confirmed earlier this month that plans were in place to develop the flagship Clock Tower Barracks and all other buildings at Ebrington.

Officials said work is also ongoing to ensure that responsibility for the 26 acres site are transferred to Derry City & Strabane District Council this year.

The former military army barracks site was gifted to local people in December, 2003 as part of the ‘peace process.’

‘Visit Derry’ revealed recently that the city had recorded its highest ever annual hotel occupancy rates, with 2016 rates having surpassed the level of bookings during the 2013 City of Culture year.