Belfast City Council’s Planning Committee has approved the application from Hastings Hotel Group for the refurbishment and extension of Windsor House, following the submission earlier in the year.
Under the proposals, the first 16 floors of the 80-metre landmark structure, including the ground floor, will be converted into new hotel accommodation, while serviced apartments will take up the 16th and 17th floors.
Committee chair councillor Matt Garrett said the approval reflected the growing demand for hotel bed space, made possible by recent investments. According to Visit Belfast, a total of 37 events have already been held in the city since January, leading to an economic impact on the city of around £13 million.
"From next year, there will be a huge increase in the number of business delegates travelling to Belfast to use the expanded conference facilities at Belfast Waterfront, and potentially returning again as leisure visitors," said Garrett.
"It’s vital that we provide enough high-quality accommodation to meet this demand. This latest development will help plug that gap, while also regenerating one of the main thoroughfares into the city and bringing increased vitality to this historic part of Belfast."
The Belfast Grand Central Hotel development could create up to 150 new jobs in the hospitality sector when it opens.
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