Mr Daithí McKay
Tabled Date: 30/01/2012
Answered On Date: 13/02/2012
Priority Written: No
To ask the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment to outline the conditions that an application for a new hotel in Ballycastle would have to meet to receive funding from her Department; and whether such an application would be affected by planning applications for hotels elsewhere in the Moyle council area.
Any application for capital support for a new hotel must be able to clearly demonstrate how the project satisfies the general principles of support outlined in the Invest NI “Support for Tourism Businesses” guidelines. These focus on establishing quality projects which are capable of competing in the national and global marketplace by being customer focused and market driven. They also require the promoter to be able to demonstrate that the business will be clearly differentiated from existing and competing projects. In addition the Promoter should be able to demonstrate that it has a clearly defined strategy for growth. Projects that simply displace visitors from similar projects will not be considered. The onus is on the promoter to prove that market need exists.
In addition, any project seeking support must be able to meet Invest NI’s basic criteria for support by demonstrating viability; a need for support and a positive return to the economy.
Should an application for assistance be successful Invest NI would issue a Letter of Offer that contains a number of terms and conditions some of which must be included in all offers and others are particular to the individual project.
With reference to whether such an application would be affected by planning applications for hotels elsewhere in the Moyle council area it should be noted that any application is looked at on its own merits but an appraisal will take into account a range of factors when considering the future viability of the project.
Invest NI's guidance on support for business and tourism businesses in particular is available in published form and I will write to you directly with copies of this information and will place a copy in the Assembly Library.