Manorhamilton Enterprise Forum aims to build hotel at St Clare’s Hall

  • Monday, 30 April 2012 15:58

Hotel project aims to promote jobs and attract visitors to North Leitrim

The Manorhamilton Enterprise Forum has announced plans to investigate the feasibility of applying for planning permission and design of a hotel on the St Clare’s Hall site in Manorhamilton and that it has secured funding for the initial design phase for the project.

The Forum has always been of the view that the lack of a hotel in the town is hindering economic and tourism development in North Leitrim. The Forum cites the example of the Discover Ireland website – used by thousands of potential visitors – which has no listings for hotel accommodation options in North Leitrim because “none exist”.

The Forum has been involved in a range of initiatives to improve community and business life in the area. It’s past projects include the introduction of a CCTV system in the town, cross border tourism and education initiatives, organising the annual St Patrick’s Day parade and Christmas lights events in the town. The Forum is also working with local organisations to re-launch the annual Festival in Manorhamilton this July. The Forum will formally launch a new website in the coming weeks to promote Manorhamilton and North Leitrim as an area to do business and to highlight existing businesses and Tourist attractions in the area and to promote business and Tourism opportunities going into the future.

Founded in 2003, the Forum re-grouped last year to examine ways in which it could help to deliver jobs and investment in the community, particularly given the negative effects of the recession. It identified the lack of a hotel in the area as a key priority.

Announcing the Forum’s plans, a spokesman for the Manorhamilton Enterprise Forum said they were delighted to have made progress in its plans to build a hotel in the town.

The spokesman said: “When we re-grouped last year, we quickly identified that the lack of a hotel in Manorhamilton is holding North Leitrim back. It means that there is very limited options for visitors in terms of accommodation and no suitable amenity to support and attract local businesses. This means North Leitrim is losing out.

“We were in the lucky position of having a suitable site like St Clare’s Hall without any debt, but didn’t have the financial support to progress our plans. We have planning permission for self-catering accommodation on the site. However, having met with various tourism consultants, the Leitrim Development Company, elected representatives, tourism officers, senior planners in Leitrim County Council and others from the locality seeking funding, no State support was available for that type of facility.”

The Manorhamilton Enterprise Forum agreed to meet representatives from Tamboran Resources on the 2nd April last to learn more about their proposed project, and to discuss issues and concerns surrounding their project. An unconditional offer of €20,000.00 funding has been accepted by the Forum to assist the planning and design phase for the development of a Hotel. The Forum has also written to other Companies seeking support for this initiative and intends to pursue these contacts in the coming months.

“Rather than give-up, we decided to seek the support of the private sector. Last month, following initial discussions with Tamboran Resources we then made a formal application for funding to them, outlining the background to our proposal and the benefits it could bring to the area. We are delighted that Tamboran has responded positively to our request and we are confident that others too may come on board.”

“We wish to thank Tamboran for its support on an unconditional basis. This funding now enables us to move the project forward. We have identified an expert to assist with advancing the planning and design aspects of the project. We will also now engage with Leitrim County Council with a view to making the project a reality.

“It is tough right now for businesses in the area to continue to support jobs and provide the services we all depend on. The Forum’s approach is to seek to positively address these problems in a way that will deliver results in the area and in doing so, contribute to business and community life. We are confident that a new hotel in Manorhamilton will make a real difference, create jobs and attract investment to the locality”, the spokesman concluded.

 

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