£53million being invested in Northern Ireland's largest hotel

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By Michael McHugh, Press Association

The Hastings Hotels group is to spend £53 million building Northern Ireland's largest hotel.

Planning permission for the redevelopment of the former Windsor House office block in Belfast city centre was granted by Belfast City Council earlier this month.

A total of 304 bedrooms and more than 150 jobs will be involved in the scheme.

Sir William Hastings, chairman of Hastings Hotels, said: "We are pleased that the revised planning permission for the Grand Central Hotel has been approved.

"This represents our company's biggest single investment to date of £53 million and is the sum required to create a top-quality hotel befitting the name Grand Central, and of which Belfast city can be proud."

It will be the group's seventh hotel in Northern Ireland and is due to open in the middle of next year.

Howard Hastings, managing director of Hastings Hotels, said the company would work with a wide range of local firms.

"Our lead construction partner is Graham Construction and their building expertise and quality of workmanship is second to none.

"The structural steel has been fabricated in Lisburn and the cladding is being designed and procured through a company based in Moira.

"The mechanical and electrical contractors are also local as are the bricklayers, joiners, plasterers and even the tower crane driver."

A number of other hotel developments by firms like Marriott International are due to open in Belfast.

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