The former Ebrington military base in the city’s Waterside — a former barracks that dates back to the 19th century which was used by the army during the First World War, the Royal Navy during the Second World War, and the army during the Troubles before being handed over for civilian use back in 2004 — is now a picturesque public space featuring restaurants, a brewery, art installations and offices.
The latest phase of the Ebrington redevelopment moved forward yesterday as First Minister Paul Givan and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill announced the beginning of construction works for a new luxury, four-star ‘Ebrington Hotel’.
The project is set to transform five buildings on the former military base, including the Clock Tower, into a 152-bed hotel with spa and leisure facilities. The work is expected to be completed by the summer of next year.
First Minister Paul Givan said: “As work begins on the Ebrington Hotel, I’m pleased to mark another step forward, not just for the Ebrington site, but for Londonderry itself. It continues to grow as a vibrant, modern city which is looking to the future with confidence – and there is a real sense of that optimism here today.
“Londonderry is a place to work, a place to invest, a place to study and a place of leisure. It is a destination regionally and nationally, and – perhaps most importantly – on the global map.
“Of course, all this takes a collective effort. It involves the Northern Ireland Executive and local government, together with businesses and a range of stakeholders across the community. I applaud the developers of the Ebrington Hotel for their investment in the city, and indeed everyone playing a role in creating a better tomorrow. While acknowledging the financial investment, it’s important to recognise the individuals and organisations which have contributed in so many ways with their time, creativity and energy.”
He added: “Alongside the Ebrington Hotel, we saw the development of Grade A office space and a hub for start-up businesses. As today’s ideas become tomorrow’s opportunities, I will be watching with interest as potential turns into reality for Londonderry.”
Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill described the occasion as a “milestone day for Derry”.