Belfast Titanic Quarter offices planned in £20m project
Facility to be marketed primarily at hi-tech firms supporting financial services industry
A computer generated image of the proposed new Titanic Quarter offices. Subject to planning permission it is anticipated that the building will open in autumn 2015, accommodating a further 2,000 workers in the area.
Titanic Quarter Limited has lodged a full planning application for major new offices which are portrayed as the “largest new commercial development” proposed for Belfast since the banking crisis began in 2007.
The proposed £20 million (€23.7 million) building will complement plans to develop a 600,000 sq ft financial services centre, a first for Northern Ireland, in the Titanic Quarter area of east Belfast, according to the company.
Subject to planning permission it is anticipated that the building will open in autumn 2015, accommodating a further 2,000 workers in the area.
The 190,000 sq ft facility, located beside Belfast Metropolitan College’s Titanic Quarter campus, will be marketed primarily at companies providing hi-tech support to the financial services industry. It is to comprise two blocks of six and seven storeys.
Titanic Quarter Ltd, one of the funders for the Titanic Belfast visitor centre, estimates that up to 200 construction jobs will be created in building the offices.
More than 100 companies are now based in the quarter, with 15,000 people “living, working and learning in the area”, the company said. There are 4,000 people employed in the area and the overall ambition is to “provide homes and employment for tens of thousands of people”.
David Gavaghan, Titanic Quarter’s chief executive, said the company was already working hard to market the building, and the quarter, as one of the world’s most exciting waterfront locations. “As we see the first tangible signs that we are moving out of one of the longest economic recessions… it is time to ensure that Belfast can continue to offer potential investors flexible, modern, high-end business accommodation,” he said.
The Confederation of British Industry director in Northern Ireland, Nigel Smyth, hoped the application could be dealt with speedily. “There is a strategic shortage of high-quality office space in Belfast, which will impact on our ability to attract in new international investors and support the growth of indigenous companies,” he said.
“It is vitally important for the health of the city that we create the necessary infrastructure to support job growth. The Titanic Quarter has been a great success to date and offers exciting opportunities in the future,” added Mr Smyth.
Alastair Hamilton, chief executive of Invest NI, said during 2012/2013 it had secured almost 2,800 foreign direct investment jobs for the North, with Northern Ireland continuing to be one of the most successful regions in the UK for inward investment.
“Being able to select from a wide range of property solutions is a key factor for potential investors,” he said.