Posted on Wednesday 24 June 2015 by Ulster Business

Belfast grand central hotel unveiled

Pictured are Chairman Sir William Hastings with his children and company directors Howard Hastings, Aileen Martin, Allyson McKimm and Julie Hastings.

Hastings Hotel Group has said its new Belfast city centre hotel will create 150 new jobs and operate at the “upper end” of the four-star market.

The group unveiled its plans for Belfast Grand Central Hotel at the planned site at Windsor House on Bedford Street, one of the tallest buildings on the island of Ireland.

At £30m, the project is the single biggest investment in the company’s history, according to Sir William Hastings, Chairman of Hastings Hotels, and will also house a restaurant and bar, 18 serviced apartments and a range of offices.

“This project is a huge undertaking for Hastings Hotels and it is has only been made possible by the strength of our existing hotels portfolio and the quality of our staff and management,” he said. “It will bring the number of bedrooms in our group to over 1,000 making us the largest privately-owned hotel chain on the island of Ireland.”

Hastings also owns The Europa Hotel, the Culloden Hotel, The Ballygally Castle Hotel and the Slieve Donard.

The name for the new hotel is a nod to the original Grand Central which previously operated from Royal Avenue in the city and hosted the likes of Winston Churchill, the King of Belgium and The Beatles, before closing down in 1972.

The new Grand Central’s branding includes the seashorse, one which was printed on the menus and plates of the original.

Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell welcomed the new hotel.

“I have been very impressed by Hastings Hotels vision for its new city centre hotel. This is great news for Belfast and for Northern Ireland, as the group’s continued investment is a massive vote of confidence in our tourism sector. The new hotel will add considerably to the local accommodation offering and allow Northern Ireland to capitalise further on the growing international business conference market.” 

WDR & RT Taggart Architects in Belfast have been assigned to design the new building while the hotel group awaits planning approval.

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