Plans are in place for a new ‘family friendly’ hotel at Hamilton Dock in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter.
If approved, the new 280-bedroom hotel will be the first investment in Northern Ireland for the London-based JMK Group.
Designed by RMI Architects in Belfast, the new hotel will open in the summer of 2021. A brand has not yet been confirmed, but JMK Group currently works with Hampton by Hilton and Holiday Inn among others.
Referring to the project as ‘a strategic investment’, a spokesperson for JMK said recently that the company believed the growth of tourism in Belfast and Northern Ireland promised ‘an exciting future’:
‘Titanic Belfast is among the leading tourist destinations in the world, so we are confident that tourism will continue to be an engine of economic growth for Belfast. That’s why we are investing in that future, tailoring our offer to the needs of the city,’ added the spokesperson.
Belfast-based Turley is acting as planning consultant for the project and speaking to LCN recently, its director of strategic communication, John Davison, confirmed that while demand for hotel accommodation had now largely caught up with the recent surge in provision, growth forecasts indicated that there would be a need for more rooms in the future.
The new hotel will include 100 rooms specifically designed for use by families and Mr Davison believes this will be key to its success:
‘I don’t have specific figures in front of me, but anecdotally, we know that there’s only a small number of family rooms available in Belfast that offer the kind of floor space that families really need,’ he said. ‘This hotel is going to fill that gap in the broader Belfast market.’
Brian Kelly, also a director at Turley, said that the consultancy was delighted with JMK Group’s decision to invest in Titanic Quarter:
‘This major investment will support the area’s successful evolution into a world-class tourism destination, an international exhibition and conferencing location and a hub of local, national and international business and education,’ he added.
The JMK Group already owns upmarket boutique hotels in London and in Ireland, where it has been investing since 2013. Among its projects in Dublin are a 198-room Holiday Inn Express, which opened in 2016 and a 421-bedroom hotel which is currently under construction at Dublin airport.
The group says that it is currently seeking further opportunities for development in Belfast.
A public information event around the Hamilton Dock proposal will take place in Belfast on May 9.