Boutique hotel and restaurant plan for Belfast church

George Sell By George Sell
13 February 2018 | Updated 13 February 2018

Northern Ireland: Hospitality group Tullymore House Ltd is planning to convert the former Holy Rosary Church on Ormeau Road into a restaurant and 21-key hotel.

The company, the owner of the Galgorm Resort in Ballymena and the Fratelli restaurant chain, says it vision for the site "is a contribution towards the regeneration of this section of the Ormeau Road through the sympathetic reuse of a prominent but derelict listed building and the restoration/extension of the adjacent building to provide a boutique hotel".

Project manager Colin Johnston said: "Since commencing work on the property we have decided, due to several factors, to reposition our initial offering to include an accommodation element. Once we had the opportunity to get in and start work, we were able to fully appreciate the sheer size and scale of the space, and, after exploring a number of options, we agreed there was potential to create an exciting accommodation offering to complement the restaurant. The growing success of our other city centre food outlets as well as the continued positive growth in tourism in Northern Ireland gives us confidence in the potential for further expansion at this site. We really look forward to meeting and working with local residents and businesses to create what we feel will be a great addition to the local community."

The planning documents say the plan "will secure the future use of the grade B1 listed building, which is on the buildings at risk register and has been derelict for over 35 years".

The scheme includes internal and external alterations to the listed building and erection of a single storey extension to the rear. The existing former parochial house will be retained, refurbished and extended to provide the 21 rooms. The area between the listed building and the hotel will be landscaped

More than £1 million will be invested improving and enhancing the site, which has been derelict since 1980, although last year the church was used to screen movies as part of the annual Belfast Film Festival. Around 30 builders will be employed, and 40 full and part-time jobs will be created on completion.

Tullymore House Ltd recently invested more than £11 million in a redevelopment programme at Galgorm, and its Fratelli group boasts one restaurant in the four-star resort and another on Great Victoria Street in Belfast.

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