Northern Ireland aparthotel benefits from public funds

A new aparthotel in Portrush is one of the beneficiaries of almost £1m in public funds as part of efforts to prepare the resort for the 148th Open Championship golf.

The Department for Communities (DfC) said it has set aside several million pounds from a total £17 million investment package "for the purpose of bringing some of the town's buildings back to life".

The work includes improvements to streetscapes, enhancements to shop frontages and the new Portrush train station.

While DfC said those projects will be completed ahead of the start of the Major golf tournament, which runs at Royal Portrush from July 18 to 21, it said the majority of projects will not be ready in time.

To date DfC has paid out £955,706 in grants to three developments, with another £2 million worth of contracts issued for a number of as yet unnamed projects.

Hotel group Andras House has received £116,706 for its £1.4 million plan to transform the former Northern Bank building on Main Street into serviced apartments with a bar and cafe. The group, which is run by the president of the Belfast Chamber Rajesh Rana, is also behind a £6.6 million bid to develop the former Londonderry Hotel across the street.

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