Minister for Social Development, Mervyn Storey, has announced the start of a study to investigate the potential for a new hotel in Portrush.
The study will determine if there is a need for a star hotel in Portrush and, if so, what facilities, grade and quality of accommodation it should offer.
The project will also look as potential sites for a hotel development.
Minister Storey said: “I am delighted that my Department is able to provide the funding for this important piece of work.
“The findings from the scoping study will help my Department determine what the next steps should be in the development of a new hotel for Portrush.
“This work is part of a wider regeneration plan for Portrush to ensure that the resort is in a position to maximize the benefits from the Open Championship that will be hosted by Royal Portrush Golf Club in the future.”
The Department for Social Development will meet the costs of the hotel scoping study, which are expected to be £18,690.
Consultancy firm, ASM Horwath, will carry out the work which should be completed in the spring of this year.
The news has been welcomed by Coleraine Borough Council.
Mayor of Coleraine Borough Council, George Duddy, said: “Coleraine Borough Council welcomes the Minister’s confirmation that the hotel scoping study for Portrush has commenced.
”The Council greatly appreciates the Department for Social Development’s continued role as a key partner in delivering the Portrush Regeneration Strategy.
“This initiative is a significant step forward in further progressing the implementation of the Regeneration Strategy.
“It also recognises the scale of tourism opportunities being attracted to Portrush, particularly the Open Golf Championship.”
In October it was announced that the Ramada Hotel was placed on the market with a £2.75m price tag.
Agents CBRE are handling the sale of the 69-bedroom, three-star property.