Major hotel plan for town

Ballycastle is set to witness the development of a 120-bedroom hotel and spa complex on the White Park Road on the edge of the town.

Following the closure of the Marine Hotel in the picturesque seaside resort a year ago, Ballycastle has been bereft of any major accommodation provider.

The town which relies heavily on tourism for its income has suffered as a result.

The announcement was made by the Chairman of Moyle, Councillor Padraig McShane, who called on his colleagues to unite and lobby for Invest NI input to make the project a reality.

He also called on the Council to obtain a meeting with Tourism Minister Arlene Foster to cement her support for the project immediately.

Councillor Padraig Mc Shane stated: “I am confident that this project can be delivered but it will rely on securing support from Invest NI for which an application has recently been submitted. The developers are also keen to secure support from the Council.

“The development fits Council’s active campaign for quality hotel provision in Ballycastle and Moyle.

“The total project costs are in the region of ten to twelve million. The significant investment will lead to the creation of 50 construction jobs for a year along with 70 full-time and 35 part-time jobs in the service sector thereafter.

“Moyle have consistently attempted to create a tourist infrastructure that would be in keeping with the natural tourist product of the District.”

SDLP Moyle District Councillor Dónal Cunningham has also welcomed the development.

He said: “Ballycastle has been without a hotel for almost a year-and-a-half, so this is excellent news.

“There is also hope that a buyer can be found for the vacant Marine Hotel.”

“Moyle District Council is urging Invest NI and the relevant tourist agencies to support this project.

“Ballycastle has not had its fair share of Invest NI investment, so this project is their chance to show commitment to the area.

“Hopefully this hotel will become a catalyst in the redevelopment of Ballycastle, as the proposed hotel could create 70 full-time and 35 part-time jobs, all of which are greatly needed.”

“Our local economy is in great need of boosting tourism in the area and this is a positive step forward in that regard.

“So now, with this latest development, we can begin to give a clear signal to business leaders, developers and tourists that Ballycastle is open for business and wants to encourage trade and tourism.”