PLANNING permission for the re-development of Armagh Gaol as a four-star hotel complete with spa and conference facilities has been submitted.
The Trevor Osborne Property Group, in partnership with Armagh City & District Council and The Prince’s Regeneration Trust, wants to build a combined £25 million investment as a joint private and public venture which will see the renovation of historic Grade B+ listed buildings which are currently on the At Risk Register.
The high quality, mixed-use, development will provide a 65-bed, hotel with a spa and conference facilities as well as restaurants, bars, shops, and an education and heritage centre. It will also enable residential development and shared public areas as the focus for a range of events, organised cross-community activities and school visits.
Lord Mayor of Armagh City & District, Cllr Sharon Haughey said, “As a luxury hotel, the Armagh Gaol site could not be better, looking across the city’s famous Mall to the courthouse on the opposite side and surrounded by Georgian houses. We hope work will commence in 2014 and that the expected two-year development will create long-term employment opportunities and deliver skills training through apprenticeship programmes. Investment and development are essential at this time, to ensure Armagh maintains a dynamic local economy and is well positioned in the years to come when the wider economy begins to recover.
“The finished site will provide community facilities for local residents, promote cross-border and community ties and create a new heritage tourist destination that will encourage people to visit and stay in the city, promoting the regeneration of Armagh and the wider region.”
In addition to the thousands of members of the public who have recently toured the gaol, HRH Prince of Wales experienced the historic building first-hand on his recent visit to Armagh City as part of the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations. Prince Charles toured the Gaol with the trust’s chief executive Ros Kerslake and Trevor Osborne who has already re-developed the former prison in Oxford into an award winning mixed use development including a unique hotel at its heart.
Lord Mayor Haughey added, “2012 has already been a year full of success for Armagh, not least the bestowing of Lord Mayoralty status, the only city in the UK to receive the accolade as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee honours. This next milestone for the Gaol redevelopment is also significant for Armagh as the regeneration of the Gaol will make a huge impact on the regeneration of the city.”