Derry hotel plans

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The Department of the Environment (DOE) looks set to give the go-ahead for a new 62 bed hotel in Derry’s city centre.

The hotel is part of a mixed used development planned for Prince Arthur Street/William Street.

DOE officials will seek the views of Derry City Council on the proposals at a meeting on Tuesday.

If the proposal gets the go ahead, it will provide a range of jobs in hotel, catering and in retail units as well as those involved in the construction of the development.

In a separate application, approval has now issued for the development of an extension to the Tower Hotel located at Butcher Street.

The Tower Hotel is already a popular venue with tourists and this extension will increase the available bed space by 52.

Environment Minister Alex Attwood said: “New hotel developments in the run up to the City of Culture year in 2013 would be a real boost to the tourist industry here, while creating work for the construction sector.

“It will also provide new jobs, which is especially welcome in the present economic downturn. Stimulating the economy is a key ingredient in the programme for government as, indeed, is Executive support for delivery on the City of Culture project.

“What I and the DOE are about is making Northern Ireland a better place to live, work and invest and this would certainly contribute to that.

“I am hopeful Derry City Council will back the proposal for the William Street development.”

The news comes just days after it was revealed that up to 60 new jobs are to be created in Derry with a new hotel planned for the city’s Waterside.

Budget hotel chain Premier Inn has plans to expand its premises as part of a project which has already created 2,500 jobs in the past year.

The new hotel is to be built in the Crescent Link area of the city and the company says it will be finished by January 2013.

Premier has benefited in recent months from people looking for cheap deals and an advertising campaign featuring comedian Lenny Henry.

Chief executive Andy Harrison said: “Premier Inn has outperformed its competitive set, benefiting from our commitment to maintain our hotels to a consistent high standard. Our scale, strong balance sheet and good returns enable us to continue to expand in line with our plans and win share of the hotel market.”

The chain is owned by Whitbread, which also owns Costa coffee and the Beefeater and Brewers Fayre restaurants.

It intends to recruit a further 10,000 staff in Britain and Ireland by early 2015.