Last Supper for Jurys Inn as owners rebrand chain as Leonardo

The Jurys Inn hotel chain is to be rebranded Leonardo, ending an association between the Jurys name and Irish hotels that dates back to 1839, reports the Sunday Independent.

The Jurys Inn name will disappear as part of a major rebranding by its owners, the Fattal Hotel Group, with all 35 Jurys Inn hotels across Ireland and Britain to become Leonardo Hotels this autumn.

The entire Jurys Inn portfolio was acquired by the group, which is owned by Israeli billionaire David Fattal, in 2017. It already has 15 Leonardo-branded hotels in the UK and 145 worldwide and is set to launch in chain expansion.

Accelerated development

Property developers filed plans for nearly 15,000 homes under the fast-track planning process in the first two weeks of April as they raced to meet the final deadline for the scheme, reports The Sunday Times.

An Bord Pleanála received a record 36 development applications in two weeks as part of the Strategic Housing Development process, which ends on Tuesday.

While the program had closed for new applications in February, developers who had already entered into discussions with the planning authority for their respective developments were granted an extension until April 19.

Construction inflation

According to the Business Post, key projects in the government’s €165 billion National Development Plan (NDP) risk being scrapped or delayed if construction costs continue to soar.

A review of ongoing investment projects in areas including housing, transport, health and education was completed last week by officials from the Public Expenditure and Reform Department.

It revealed lower than usual levels of interest among construction firms in new public works contracts, with inflationary pressures making many projects with fixed-price contracts unattractive or unviable.

Airport Advocacy

Dalton Philips, chief executive of airport operator DAA, told staff at Dublin Airport that it had not been possible to foresee passenger numbers returning to current levels so quickly, reports the Sunday Independent, citing a video message filmed for staff.

Mr Philips has asked non-security staff at the airport to volunteer for early morning shifts as part of a special task force set up to help overworked security colleagues.

“I need your support because helping our customers, our passengers, get through the airport during this very busy time is our number one job,” he said.

Biopharma fundraising

Renexxion, a Roscrea-based biopharmaceutical company, has secured $100 million (€92.5 million) in funding in a deal that will see it go public in the United States in the coming months, reports the Business Post.

The company, founded by Tipperary-born Peter Milner, is aiming to bring a new gastrointestinal drug to market which it says can achieve sales of at least $1 billion.

Mr Milner is a former EY Entrepreneur of the Year finalist who sold his first company, CV Therapeutics, in 2009 to Gilead for $1.5 billion in cash.

Cloud Capital

Zoosh Group, a company backed by property developer Sean Mulryan, plans to launch a €25 million fund to help grow cloud-focused start-ups, according to the Sunday Independent.

Zoosh invests in and works with new cloud companies from idea stage to commercialization. Mulryan, who founded Ballymore Group, recently acquired a “significant stake” in Zoosh through Ardenode Capital and will join its board as a non-executive director.

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