Iconic Derry buildings set for two boutique developments

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Work has begun on transforming two iconic buildings in Derry/Londonderry into new boutique hotels for the area.

The first project will see the former Northern Counties Club on Bishop Street in the city converted into a 31-bedroom hotel, complete with a restaurant, cookery school and two retail units.

The second site – a former bank in Shipquay Street – will become a 20-bedroom boutique with a bar and lounge and hopes to appeal to both guests and locals.

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The two developments will create 77 jobs for the city and both are set to be completed by the end of this year.

Social development minister Mervyn Storey said the "ambitious and forward-thinking" projects would help to build on the city’s 2013 UK City of Culture status.

"The projects are also a major boost to the local economy providing 77 new jobs for the local hospitality sector, as well as the construction jobs needed to undertake the work," he added.

Helen Quigley, chief executive of the Inner City Buildings Preservation Trust, said that the building restorations would "add significantly to the tourism fabric" of the city.

"If we are to save and restore the historic and listed buildings in our city then it is essential that all involved work together in a strong partnership towards that common goal," she said.

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