Talks aimed at attracting a leading hotel chain to Longford town have officially broken down however ‘a party is still’ considering the project.
The estimated cost of converting the vacant Town centre building to a hotel is €10m and the party that had previously expressed interest in the project withdrew and subsequently purchased a ready-to-go hotel from NAMA in Sligo for €2m.
At last week’s meeting of Longford Town Council, Cllr Denis Hughes asked Town Clerk Dan Rooney, if there was any news on the planned takeover of the town centre building.
Mayor Paul Connell replied: “Yes, but it is bad.”
He explained that those who had expressed an interest in the Longford Town Centre premises had opted to choose an existing venue in Sligo. However he indicated there was still ‘a party looking at the building’.
When the proposal was first mooted, a group of county council executives were in contact with at an interested party and this effort at boosting Longford’s tourism potential by attracting a recognised hotel chain had been in train since last May.
Cllr Peggy Nolan said she spoke to a party in the UK who had expressed an interest in establishing a wedding venue in Longford and she had passed the details on to council officials.
Cllr Mae Sexton stressed that the matter should not be allowed to rest and she asked if the second interested party were still in negotiations.
Town Manager Frank Sheridan pointed out that the second party had difficulties engaging with NAMA, adding that they were not an easy body to deal with.