Ireland Premier Hospitality

Silverbirch Hotel


Silverbirch branches out


The Silverbirch Hotel in Omagh has completed a multi-million pound refurbishment in a bid to increase its share of the business event and wedding markets.

Due to the popularity of the hotel’s new facilities, 25 additional jobs have also been created. Part of the investment was supported by Danske Bank.

The hotel has been transformed in a multi-phase refurbishment that has taken two years to complete. Renovations included an extension and complete refurbishment of the existing business centre and the construction of a new two-storey event space.


Business Centre

A number of the external features of the hotel such as landscaping and parking have also been upgraded. The family-run business currently employs 120 staff and will celebrate 40 years in business later this year.

The project, which has been reported as a huge success, was designed by Audrey Gaffney Associates, with Lowry Builders as main contractors.

The project was carried out in several phases with the first phase involving the demolition of the hotel’s existing business centre and complete renovation of the public toilets on the ground floor.

Audrey Gaffney, director of Audrey Gaffney Associates said: “The new look spacious business centre is designed a separate entity to the hotel, and includes all the latest conferencing facilities, incorporating five meeting rooms a board room, and a very large break-out area. It boasts a very high-end corporate feel, with emphasis on a smart and stylish look. This element of the project went very well, and was completed ahead of schedule.”

The colour scheme throughout includes soft greys, limes and lemons and is based on the colours of the Silver birch tree, after which the hotel is named.

Another phase of the project involved converting a section to the rear of the existing bar and restaurant into a ‘snug’ bar (known as Bertha’s Bar), with painted panelling, antiqued mirrors, and bench-type seating in aged leather.

The hotel’s existing function room was also demolished and re-built, creating an elegant and stylish new ballroom space which accommodates up to 450 guests.

A new courtyard bar and terrace was also created on the site formerly occupied by the previously demolished business centre.

In addition, a new music and entertainment area with two bars, a dance floor and a stage was created in the hotel basement.

Audrey Gaffney concluded: “The project has been a great success, with the hotel owners reporting great interest and multiple bookings – particularly for the new ballroom. The client was very pleased with the end result – so much so that he has come back to us with a request to carry out further work. Lowry Builders did a very good job – as did the entire contract team.”

Allan Duncan, owner of Silverbirch Hotel, said: “In 2015 we started a radical development plan to bring new life to the hotel. We knew in order for us to remain as popular as ever with our customers, we needed to invest and keep modernising the hotel.”

Drumragh Suite

Drumragh Suite

Robert McGill, Business Manager at Danske Bank, commented: “The Silverbirch Hotel has been a mainstay in Omagh for almost four decades now. The owners have invested heavily in the business over the past number of years and this is a key indication of their commitment to not only the sector, but to the local area.

“The hospitality sector remains one of the biggest contributors to our economy and this latest investment is proof that local businesses still continue to thrive during difficult times.”

Floors Direct NI

Floors Direct NI specialise in the installation of contract and domestic floor coverings, ranging from Amtico and Karndean to Marmoleum and Polyflor Tarkett. The company has been in operation since December 1992 and within this time has worked with an array of prestigious clients, including Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE), Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS), Northwest Independent Hospital Ballykelly, the Education Authority (EAWR) and Brian Keys Tractors, amongst others.

Most recently, Floors Direct NI has been involved with The Silverbirch Hotel. Working on this project, Floors Direct NI was responsible for the installation of Axminster carpet in the main ballroom, as well as the installation of Altro flooring in the new kitchen and bar areas.

Sean Smithson of Floors Direct NI, said:

“As Silverbirch is an independent family-owned business, over the years we have built up a great working relationship with the Duncan family. Our two businesses are situated in very close proximity to each other and we are grateful that they chose us to undertake this project.”

Sean added:

“At Floors Direct NI, we strive to offer the best service possible, helping clients on the best choice of materials to meet their specific requirements. We work as a team to ensure the best possible outcome and our customer service and aftercare are very important to clients.”


Lowry Building & Civil Engineering

Lowry Building & Civil Engineering provides every type of comprehensive building and civil engineering service across all sectors. A family run company established in 1961,with over 50 years’ experience, Lowry Building & Civil Engineering are excellently resourced with some of the most highly trained professionals in the industry, and an excellent staff retention rate.

Lowry Building delivers construction projects from hotels and hospitals to schools and office blocks, fuel service stations and business parks. The company’s portfolio also includes infrastructure and utilities projects, such as major water treatment facilities, all successfully delivered by Lowry’s civil engineering division.

Lowry Building & Civil Engineering take pride in maintaining long-term client relationships with NI Water, Central Procurement Division, Health Estates, Education Authority, Maxol, Wine Inns and Silverbirch Hotel, amongst many other valued customers. Working on The Silverbirch Hotel, Lowry Building & Civil Engineering was responsible for the complete redevelopment of the hotel over three consecutive phases, as well as the provision of a temporary pavilion to accommodate a full calendar of events during the construction works.

Helen Lowry, Director of Lowry Building & Civil Engineering, said:

“This project was important to be involved with as it consolidated our success working in the hospitality sector by delivering an excellent quality finish within a challenging ‘live’ working environment. It also helped the client re-establish themselves as one of the leading wedding and conference venues in Northern Ireland.”

Helen added:

“Our company ethos is to ensure that outstanding levels of quality, sustainability and safety are delivered in each completed project.”

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