Hospitality Ireland presents a round-up of Belfast hospitality venue news.
"Imaginarium" To Open On Belfast's Royal Avenue
As reported by insidermedia.com, plans for a community, recreation and cultural venue on the ground floor of a listed building on Royal Avenue in Belfast are set to move forward. The proposal is reportedly set to allow Belfast City Council to pilot the concept of an "Imaginarium" for visitors to learn about the city.
Reportedly acting on behalf of the council, Resolve Planning & Development is reportedly seeking permission to temporarily change the use of 2 Royal Avenue, which was reportedly last occcupied by Tesco.
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Earlier this year, the council reportedly acquired the building after Tesco elected not to renew its lease.
Reportedly constructed in the 1800s, the grade B+ listed building reportedly originally served as a bank. It is reportedly located adjacent to Bank Buildings, which is reportedly currently being rebuilt following fire damage.
The proposed new use, which is reportedly facilitated via temporary installations internally within the building, has reportedly been recommended for approval ahead of a Belfast Council planning meeting this week.
Reportedly according to a report to be scrutinised at the meeting, the plans are considered to be a sympathetic use of the property which will result in visitor traffic which contributes to vitality of the city centre.
Approval for a two-year change of use is reportedly recommended.
Restoration Project Transforms Belfast Building Into Luxury Accommodation Venue
As reported by The Irish News, a £2.5 million restoration project that created over 50 jobs during its construction phase has transformed one of south Belfast's most iconic buildings into a new luxury accommodation offering for the city.
The Regency, reportedly an 8,000 square foot hospitality venue in Upper Crescent, reportedly comprises six bespoke one-bed and two-bed luxury private residences, complete with one communal garden and two private courtyards.
The former Regency House was reportedly built was 1846 by the timber merchant Robert Corry.
Aurient Ltd, reportedly an investment house run by entrepreneurs Anthony Kieran and Cecil Hetherington, is reportedly behind the project (www.theregencybelfast.com).
They recruited the expertise and knowledge of a number of talented craftspeople including architect Gerry Rogers, builder Noel Savage and interior designer Orla Higgins.
Each residence, which will reportedly be available to book for short-stay visitors from early 2022, has reportedly been finished to the highest standard, reportedly featuring premium interiors, furniture and antiques from companies such as Herbert Gould, Alwood Kitchens, Soaks, David Scott and Wilson's Yard.
This is reportedly the first of a series of restoration developments to be undertaken by Aurient as part of a five-year commitment to regenerate the Crescent area and respond to the growing demand for premium accommodation.
The business partners, reportedly best-known for the UsedCarsNI.com digital platform, have reportedly purchased 14 and 15 Upper Crescent, two doors down from The Regency, and construction is reportedly expected to begin next year to transform the terrace buildings into a similar offering and standard.
Aurient has reportedly also purchased 14 Lower Crescent, located off Botanic Avenue to create a mixed-use space, with the Used Cars NI office on the lower floors and two apartments on the top floor.
Anthony Kieran, director of Aurient Ltd, reportedly said, "Restoring the old Regency House and transforming it into The Regency has been a complete and utter passion project, and to see these magnificent grand terraces stand tall once again is a very special moment for all of us.
"Now that The Regency has been restored to its former glory, we're looking forward to sharing these buildings with visitors from all over the world.
"There's been an increasing demand - thanks to shows likes Bridgerton - for people seeking to experience stays in traditional Georgian buildings of a bygone time, and as we reopen the doors to The Regency, there'll now be the opportunity to experience that in Belfast."
He reportedly added, "But our work at the Crescent has only begun. We are determined to breathe life into the wider Crescent area and make it a beautiful space in Belfast that both residents and locals will enjoy and be proud of.
"In addition to purchasing 14 Lower Crescent and 14 and 15 Upper Crescent, both of which construction work will commence next year, our team has also been involved in a community relations group with Council representatives and MLAs to discuss how, collaboratively, we can further rejuvenate the local area and surrounding green space.
"We've made great progress to date and are confident that the Crescent will be firmly on the map as one of Belfast's most desirable - and best connected addresses."
© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.