Former derelict church to become boutique hotel

Amy Horsfield By Amy Horsfield
08 March 2019 | Updated 08 March 2019

UK: A former derelict church on Belfast’s Ormeau Road is to become a boutique hotel, bar and restaurant early next year following an £8 million investment.

Plans to develop a new £8 million hotel, bar and restaurant for Belfast, Northern Ireland, which will create around 100 additional jobs have been recommended for approval by planning officials at Belfast City Council.

If approved the new development will open early next year as part of a significant new investment by the owners of the award-winning Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort.

The proposals for Belfast's newest hospitality venue will regenerate the former derelict Holy Rosary Church and an adjacent Parochial House building at 348-350 Ormeau Road.

The site is currently being restored and preserved in advance of its opening in Spring 2020 to accommodate 18 bedrooms, a bar and signature restaurant which forms part of the group's newly-named Galgorm Collection of hotels, restaurants and bars.

The 19th century grade B1 listed building, which has lain derelict for almost 40 years since its closure in 1980, was acquired in February 2017 for this hospitality redevelopment project. The site has also been on the building risk register for over 35 years.

An additional 30 jobs are also being created during construction, design and fit-out to provide for the 18 bedrooms and an open-access bar and restaurant.

Colin Johnston, Galgorm Collection managing director, said: "We warmly welcome that our planning proposal to create a new hotel and restaurant experience on Ormeau Road has been recommended for approval and we look forward to the next stage in the planning process. We've extensively engaged with councillors, partners, residents and stakeholders to ensure that one of Belfast's finest, historic buildings can be carefully restored to create an outstanding new and unique hotel and dining experience for the city and for Northern Ireland. If the plans are approved, this exciting venture will further complement our new and expanding Galgorm Collection which comprises numerous award-winning properties which already warmly welcome thousands of local and international guests every day. It will also further enhance Belfast's growing high quality hospitality offer in line with our own aspirations and that of the city while adding to the vibrancy of community life on Ormeau Road."

Belfast's newest boutique hotel will add to the group's suite of hospitality assets, which includes the award-winning Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort, the 3AA Rosette River Room Restaurant, Gillies Bar & Grill Restaurant and Fratelli's.

In Belfast, it also operates restaurants Fratelli's on Great Victoria Street and Café Parisien, offering a French brasserie-style menu in the Robinson & Cleaver building overlooking City Hall on Donegall Square.

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