Approval sought for £8m hotel and restaurant in former Belfast church

Plans for a new £8m hotel, bar and restaurant in a former Belfast church building will shortly go before Belfast City Council for approval.

If the green light is given by the Planning Committee’s at its next sitting on March 12, 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 involve the regeneration of the former, derelict Holy Rosary Church and an adjacent parochial house building on the Ormeau Road.

The site is currently being carefully restored and preserved in advance of its anticipated opening in spring next year.

The new development will feature 18 bedrooms and a stunning new bar and signature restaurant which will join Galgorm’s burgeoning portfolio of hospitality businesses.

The news comes just a few weeks after Galgorm announced that it would pay £7m for the Templeton Hotel and Templepatrick.

And late last year, the group spent more than £700,000 to acquire and refurbish the former Pavilion restaurant at Galgorm Castle Golf Club near Ballymena, re-opening as the Castle Kitchen and Bar.

The 19th century grade B1 listed church building in Belfast, which has lain derelict for almost 40 years since its closure in 1980, was acquired in February 2017 by the group. The site has also been on the building risk register for more than 35 years.

Under Galgorm’s redevelopment plans, the ground floor will encompass a new kitchen and bar which has been styled on the Castle Kitchen and Bar at Ballymena and which will provide a 150-seat BBQ smokehouse restaurant with wood-burning firepit as part of a new dining experience. Knox and Clayton are the architects behind the scheme.

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

Galgorm Collection managing director, Colin Johnston, says that he’s looking 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,’ he said recently.

‘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.

This latest venture on Ormeau Road will bring the group’s total staff count to more than 1000.


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