Well known hotel developers Harcourt Developments were in Lisburn last week as plans emerged for two new hotels.
According to local MP Jeffrey Donaldson, the company, which was responsible for the development of the Titanic Quarter in Belfast, as well as hotels in Dublin, London, Manchester, Liverpool and further afield, are showing serious interest in developing both a city centre boutique hotel and a larger hotel with conference facilities in West Lisburn.
Mr Donaldson took the developers on a tour of the city, including the Historic Quarter, Lisburn Square and the Maze redevelopment site.
It is understood that several sites are being considered for the new hotels, including Castle House in Castle Street for the boutique hotel and the Blaris/Maze area for the larger hotel and conference facilities.
The developers also looked at land at Laganabank Road close to The Wallace as a possible site for a city centre hotel and had the opportunity to see the ongoing public realm work.
Mr Donaldson said the new hotels would be a significant boost for the local economy and would help to attract even more visitors to the city.
“The Premier Inn is sitting at 97% capacity, “ explained Mr Donaldson. “This is fantastic and shows that there is the demand for hotels in the city.
“We pointed out many of the assets of Lisburn to the developers, including Hillsborough Castle, which Historic Royal Palaces hopes will attract 200,000 visitors to the area.
“We also have the Down Royal Racecourse, the Balmoral Show with RUAS moving to the Maze, as well as many other attractions.
“The plans for a city centre boutique hotel will help to invigorate the night time economy and will be in keeping with the development plans that the council and city centre management have for Lisburn.
“We are now putting together some additional information for the developer and they will then discuss this at board level.
“They are very keenly interested in Lisburn and see the potential of the city.”