Hotel boss says new £1.2m Grand Ballroom will help entice more prestigious music acts to Derry

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The boss of the 4-star Everglades hotel says it’s spending £1.2m on a new theatre-style Grand Ballroom that will be ready next Spring and, it is hoped, will entice more “prestigious music acts” to Derry.

Neil Devlin, General Manager at the Everglades, outlining the significant new investment, said the new space will also increase capacity for major conferences and functions.

He said the existing ballroom has already hit capacity 30 times this year to date and that the hotel doesn’t want to be in the position of having to turn people away.

The new room will increase capacity for sit-down functions by almost 100, whilst the total capacity for theatre-style events will increase by 200.

“In 2016 so far, our existing ballroom, which before the improvements was able to seat 450 in a theatre setting or 330 people seated at round tables, has been at capacity over 30 times,” said Mr Neil Devlin.

The hotel boss said the new ballroom will resolve this.

“We want as many people as possible to come and experience conferences and events at the hotel, and not to have to turn people away, so we are creating a brand new space that will seat 650 people theatre style and comfortably over 400 at round tables,” said Mr Devlin..

The £1.2m investment is due to be completed next year with the new Grand Ballroom officially scheduled to be opened in April 2017.

The Hastings Hotels group, which owns the Everglades, has taken on the services of local companies Robinson and Sons as architects, and JS Dunlop as builders of the new larger ballroom.

The group said that, upon completion, the new hotel centrepiece will be the largest ballroom in whole of the North West.

Mr Devlin said it will be the equal of any conference space across the North.

One of the advantages of having the new 450 capacity theatre style room will be its ability to host marquee music acts.

“We are confident that this will attract larger scale conferences and more prestigious music acts to the venue, which will be the biggest in the North West and on a par with any conference facilities found in Northern Ireland,” said Mr Devlin.

The Everglades regards its state-of-the-art conference facilities as one of its key selling points and is already marketing the new Grand Ballroom as the North West’s largest function room, with new capacity for up to 400 people for weddings, banquets and gala events.