All clear for Cape Sierra Hotel redevelopment
Nassit and Cape Sierra Hotel Company (the Project Company set up by IDEA UK) have completed the final arrangements that will permit the redevelopment and operation of Cape Sierra Hotel subsequent to a procurement process for which the International Finance Corporation, an arm of the World Bank acted as lead transaction adviser to Nassit.
The newly constructed Cape Sierra Hotel will be an International 5-star hotel with state-of-the art conference facilities, themed restaurants, swimming pool, tennis court and a fitness centre and will cost over $40m to develop. The project will also include a programme of refurbishing the existing chalets. The new hotel is scheduled to open in the 2nd half of 2013 and will be managed by an internationally renowned brand operator. A separate press release will be made jointly with the hotel operator in the coming weeks.
Funding for the new hotel has been secured by IDEA UK, the promoters of the Cape Sierra Hotel project, through the African Import and Export Bank (Afreximbank) and FBN Bank (UK) utilising Afreximbank.s Construction and Tourism (CONTOUR) facility.
Lagan Construction, a U.K. based international construction company has been appointed as the main building contractor. A team of internationally recognised architects and engineers have already produced the concept design for the new hotel. All of these companies will be working with a number of local design and construction companies to deliver the project.
Hon. Victoria Saidu-Kamara, Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs said “the commencement of the reconstruction of Cape Sierra Hotel and the involvement of major international banks is yet another sign of the increasing confidence of investors and the international community in the future of our nation. The arrival of an international five-star hotel will be a key enhancement to the portfolio of hotels in the country and a catalyst for the growth and development of Sierra Leone’s tourism industry.”
The Director General of NASSIT, Mr Sam Bangura Jr. said, “Sierra Leone has the potential to become a very attractive destination for tourists and business travellers alike. The redevelopment of such an iconic hotel as Cape Sierra Hotel to an international Five Star standard will ensure good returns for the fund and increase government revenue. It will also bring in additional foreign exchange for the country and create employment opportunities. We look forward to a long, cordial and mutually beneficial partnership with Cape Sierra Hotel Company to realize the full potential of this development.”
Wilben Short, Managing Director of Cape Sierra Hotel Company Ltd. said, “We wish to thank His Excellency the President for his support for the project. We also thank the Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Minister of Finance, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice and their ministry officials and all our friends and supporters who have worked together to get to this stage. We are extremely proud that the project is led by Sierra Leoneans and we look forward to working together with Nassit, the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, the local community and other key stakeholders in the coming months to deliver a truly outstanding hotel.”
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