Northern Ireland

Plans for six new hotels ahead of City of Culture year

An artist's impression of what the site at Crescent Link could look like
Image caption Plans for the six hotels include a 60-bed hotel at Crescent Link

Plans for six new hotels in Londonderry have been submitted ahead of its year as UK City of Culture in 2013.

Three of the applications include a Premier Inn in the Waterside area of the city and a hotel at the site of the former Tillie and Henderson shirt factory.

Plans for a 114-bed hotel on the Strand Road have also been submitted.

A further three hotels are planned for sites at Gransha, Great James Street and Foyle Street.

Sinn Fein councillor Maeve McLaughlin said the submissions were positive but a strategic approach must be taken to hotel development.

"That means addressing issues like roads, access and coach-parking."

DUP councillor Joe Millar said it was a positive step for the city. "In principal, we welcome these applications to council. It's good for the city's future."

SDLP councillor Gerard Diver said there is an under-capacity of hotel beds in Derry. "The most important thing is to give a selection of different accommodation to visitors."

Derry will be the first UK City of Culture in 2013.

The City of Culture title, which involves no government funding, is designed to help areas boost their economy using tourism and creative industries.