Plans to convert Killeavy Castle into a luxury £10m hotel took a step closer following the award of the contract earlier this week.
Abergeldie Complex Infrastructure will convert the dilapidated castle in Co. Armagh into a luxury 42-bedroom, four-star boutique hotel, spa and wellness centre.
Michael Boyle, who bought the property for £1.19 million in March 2013, is the executive chairman of the Australian-based Abergeldie outfit.
However, the company have set up an office at the heart of their Northern Ireland project.
Newry-based architects P O’Hagan and Associates are the appointed design team for the hotel close to the castle and the restoration of the 19th century Grade One listed building to its former glory.
The multi-million project will involve the restoration of the Grade A listed Killeavy Castle for use as a Guest House and meeting venue; the development of a courtyard of Grade B listed outbuildings into a 40 bedroom boutique hotel and spa; and the construction of a permanent marquee as a special events suite, adjacent to the castle which will provide the frontage to this space.
The former walled garden on the estate will also be restored and contain a café.
Nature treks and walks will also be developed to align with the attractions of the adjacent Slieve Gullion Forest Park.
Speaking earlier this year, Mr Boyle, said: “We want to create a distinct visitor attraction that maximises the heritage and beauty of the Killeavy Castle Estate and makes a positive contribution to the local community.
“Support from Invest NI and Newry, Mourne and Down District will make a vital contribution in enabling us to undertake the extensive building and restoration works.
“Progress on the project is well under way and the hotel, spa and wellness centre is on track to be operational by late 2018.”