The £3.2m luxury four-star project has been given the green light by planners. Kenny Bruce, Stephen Ashe, Mervyn McKay and Raymond Robinson, directors of MBA Inver Investments, say 38 jobs will be created by the hotel in the Co Antrim town.
The Riverdale area building will feature 24 luxurious bedrooms, a traditional bar with food, drink and entertainment, a relaxing restaurant offering fresh, locally sourced produce and banqueting and event space for up to 220 people.
Mr Bruce, co-founder of Purplebricks, has already demonstrated his commitment to the town through the regeneration of the Inver Park stadium and the development of the Larne Football Club which he purchased in 2017.
He said: “Our vision for the Inver River Hotel is to create a stylish, four star hotel that will be a bright light for hospitality in Larne. Despite challenges currently facing the tourism sector, we feel the time is right to build this new, high quality hotel to contribute to the continual development of Larne’s reputation as a great place to visit.
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“We are excited by the recent regeneration in Larne and we are pleased to be contributing to the transformation of the Dunluce Street area, creating a new bespoke hotel that the people of Larne can be proud of.
“We’re looking forward to attracting more tourists to the town while offering the local community a quality product with excellent customer service standards.”
The directors are hoping to start work at the site on Bridge Street later this year after the final funding round is complete.
Despite the challenges to the hospitality industry due to the Covid-19 crisis, they are confident the planned opening of the hotel in early 2022 will coincide with a “strong resurgence of the tourism sector in Northern Ireland and beyond”.
Mr Bruce went on to pay tribute to Anne Donaghy, chief executive of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and her leadership team for their support throughout the process.
He added: “We look forward to continuing to work with council to see further transformation in Larne.”
The council chief executive said “I welcome the investment and development of a new high-spec hotel in Larne. This will form a key part of council’s strategic tourism offering as the gateway to the Glens and will create much needed local jobs.
“I congratulate the vision of the investors and endorse the way in which they are contributing to the future of Larne.
“The Inver River Hotel will add significantly to the work already undertaken in the Inver River area of the town, and I have no doubt other investors will see the success of this hotel and be encouraged to come to our town.
“It is a privilege of council to work alongside these investors to support them to create the next part of Larne’s journey in tourism.”
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