Westwood to close next year to make way for 400 student beds

Westwood Hotel in Newcastle

The well-known Westwood Hotel in Newcastle will close its doors next year to make way for the development of 400 student accommodation bed spaces.

Hotelier and publican Terry Sweeney has sold the business to a UK investment fund which specialises in student accommodation – it will continue to operate as a hotel until early 2018.

The news comes as separately, work has started on the construction of accommodation for 430 students on an NUI Galway site adjacent to Corrib Village.

Management at the Westwood – which has around 70 staff – have given assurances that the sale will not affect guests, and it will continue to operate as normal until early next year.

In a statement to the Galway City Tribune, management said: “The ongoing operation of the Westwood hotel provides total reassurance for guests, staff and suppliers for what is forecast to be a very busy year. A plan is in place for an orderly and planned transition which will take place in early 2018.”

The hotel was bought by the Ziggurat Student Investment Fund Unit Trust, which has an overall budget in the region of €75 million to buy and develop up to five sites – and provide 1,000 bed spaces – in Galway City alone.

It is not known how much was paid for the hotel, which was developed from the former Westwood Restaurant in the late 1990s.

Ziggurat co-founder Matthew McAdden said he is looking forward to developing the site.

“We look forward to working with NUI Galway, Galway City Council and local residents to deliver an attractive scheme for this property. This site’s proximity to the NUI Galway campus makes it a perfect location for student.

“We take pride in presenting high end, conveniently-located student accommodation. Our existing Dublin and Cork properties already reflect this and we welcome the opportunity to bring our student residence skills to Galway,” he said.

For more on the sale of the Westwood and the future plans, see this week’s Galway City Tribune.
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