Six new hotels are planned for the city, members of Derry City Council were told this week.
An official from the Planning Service made the comment at a meeting of the Council’s planning committee held in the Guildhall on Tuesday. The Planning Service said the applications are in varying stages of discussion.
One of the proposed developments is for a small hotel at the Cultúlann Uí Chanáin complex at Great James’ Street. Donnacha MacNiallias from An Chultúlann said the plans are for the old Gaeláras building at 34 Great James’ Street.
Mrs Fox said three of the applications are at an advanced stage and, if they go ahead, could create more than 300 new hotel bed spaces in the city.
They are:- a planned 60 bedroom Premier Inn at Crescent Link; a 139 room hotel at the former Tille and Henderson’s site; and a 116 bedroom hotel planned by the Duddy Group for the Strand Road.
The other proposed hotels could be built at Gransha, William Street, and the An Chultúlann development at Great James’ Street.
DUP alderman Joe Miller said it is encouraging to see so many hotels planned. “It’s good that we are sitting here at a time of economic depression and we have applications like this coming into our wee town. We say bring it on. It is great for the city and for the future. The sooner we get these built the better.”
SDLP councillor Gerard Diver also welcomed the news. “This is a big issue in the city, not just in terms of City of Culture but also for developing the future of our tourism product,” he said.
Sinn Féin colr. Maeve McLaughlin said it is a good news story for the city but called for steps to be taken to ensure that local people are employed in the building of any new hotels. “It is crucial that with the projected amount of new hotels going to being built in Derry that local labour is used in their construction and that building materials are sourced locally. Sinn Féin have been to the fore in calling for social clauses as we believe they can reap huge benefits and take people off long term unemployment.
“We also need to look at our relationship with tourist providers and hoteliers in Donegal and look at what strategies can be put in place so both this city and our neighbours in Donegal can benefit from them,” she said.