Hotel Approved for Scottish Mutual site

Plans for the construction of a new £50m hotel in Belfast have been approved by the Department of the Environment.

The hotel development will be at the Scottish Mutual site on College Avenue near the Castle Court Shopping Centre and will be known as the Mutual Hotel. The hotel is expected to have 250 bedrooms built over 10 floors and will be developed by a subsidiary of local design and build company McAleer and Rushe.

This is the latest in a series of new hotels that are planned for Belfast in the near future. The company has owned the site on College Avenue for a number of years and a number of previous planning applications have been made for the site with this latest application being submitted in September 2013. The application and approval will be taken as a further sign of a return to confidence in the local market. A significant number of jobs are expected to be created once construction begins and the entire project is expected to take around 18 months to reach completion.

Janice Gault of the Hotel Federation welcomed the news of the hotel plans adding that: “Belfast has a number of significant projects in the pipeline. Current market analysis would indicate that there will be an additional 600 rooms in the marketplace by 2017. There is work underway at the Waterfront Hall which would positively effect the marketplace with an increase in conference and meetings business.”

In what might be further good news for Belfast hotels the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) released some positive figures ahead of its recent 77th annual conference in Cavan. The organisation reported that average room occupancy rates for hotels and guest houses across the country reached 64% last year, which is up 3% on 2013 and the highest figure since the financial crash in 2007.