Andras Hotels completes restoration of listed bank building
A former bank building in Portrush has been brought back to life following a £2.5m restoration project. The listed building, originally built in 1898 for the Belfast Banking Corporation, has been converted to serviced apartments and a café bar by Andras Hotels, Northern Ireland’s largest hotel group.
The building was officially opened by the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Steven Callaghan. The Mayor, who originally trained as a Chef and worked in hotel management, said: “I am pleased to open this landmark project, and to see new life breathed into this historic building. This project will provide a boost the local economy and will hopefully attract more investors thinking about setting up businesses in the area.”
Rajesh Rana, Director of Andras House ltd, said: “It is a real source of pride to have been able to bring this wonderful building back into active use. We have employed local stonemasons, craftspeople, architects and designers to work on this project, and it is great to see the traditional skills being used on this building which is Grade B1 listed.
“Our vision was to tell the history of this building, as a former branch of the Belfast Banking Corporation. The original bank vault is retained as a feature, and we have displayed old cheques from Belfast Banking Corporation and historic photographs”.
The building will provide tourist accommodation in six serviced apartments, named The Bank Apartments, and a ground floor venue called Safehouse Café Bar.
Rajesh said: “We are working with local food and drink producers and other suppliers to support businesses in the council area and Northern Ireland as a whole.
“I am delighted to bring this project to completion. It is a landmark building on Main Street in Portrush and makes a real contribution to the regeneration of this part of the town. We have recently started construction of our hotel project, just across the road, and it is pleasing to bring new life to these two beautiful, listed buildings”.
The project at the bank building was completed in two phases, by local contractors Martin & Hamilton and MSM Contracts. Architects were Consarc, the interior designers were Philip Watts Design and Philip Rodgers Design, and consultant engineers were Caldwell and Ian Black Consulting.