Northern Ireland

Sale of Ballycastle's Marine Hotel is agreed

The Marine Hotel
Image caption The Marine Hotel was Ballycastle's only major hotel

A seaside town in County Antrim could be in line for a much needed tourism boost with the potential sale and reopening of a landmark hotel.

The Marine Hotel, which closed about 18 months ago, was the only major hotel in Ballycastle.

It went into receivership in May 2011 after its former owner - property developer Mervyn McAlister - went bankrupt.

It was put on the market late last year and a sale has recently been agreed.

The closure of the hotel was a major blow to the town's economy, as the Marine not only catered for tourists, but many local clubs and sporting organisations used its function rooms for meetings and events.

Ballycastle Chamber of Commerce has described the Marine as the town's "flagship" and "focal point".

Ballycastle does not have a leisure centre, so many residents also lost access to a pool when the hotel closed its doors at Christmas 2010.

When contacted on Thursday, selling agents Osborne King would not comment other than to confirm that a sale has been agreed.

However, it is understood that Marine could reopen to the public by late summer.

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