Belfast’s key sites now ‘free from burden of Nama debt’

Belfast City Council aiming to attract £1bn in new development funding

Pictured from left at the launch of ‘Belfast Goes To Market’ are  Belfast Lord Mayor Arder Carson, Jackie Henry (chair of Belfast Main Steering Group), Suzanne Wylie (chief executive Belfast City Council), with local musicians,  Dave Jackson (far left) and Fiona O’Kane (centre). Photograph: Aurora PA

Pictured from left at the launch of ‘Belfast Goes To Market’ are Belfast Lord Mayor Arder Carson, Jackie Henry (chair of Belfast Main Steering Group), Suzanne Wylie (chief executive Belfast City Council), with local musicians, Dave Jackson (far left) and Fiona O’Kane (centre). Photograph: Aurora PA

 

Belfast’s key development sites are now “free from the burden of Nama debt” and the city is once again attracting interest from developers and investors, according to the chief executive of the city council.

Suzanne Wylie today launched a new Belfast City Council initiative which aims to attract £1 billion (€1.3bn) of new development investment for Belfast, which she believes will then help to deliver “tens of thousands of jobs”.

The ‘Belfast Goes to Market’ initiative will promote real estate opportunities and also showcase what Belfast council is doing to “transform the city and move it on to a new level to be competitive on a global stage”.

Ms Wylie said the city council is committed to a joined-up approach to development and was keen to stress that it now has the power to make planning decisions.

“The council is committed to working in partnership with the private sector to make this work, we want to encourage, facilitate and deliver. We want to play our part in transforming this city to put it where it deserves to be,” she added.

Cannes do

Belfast City Council’s chief executive will travel to Cannes in France next month to take part in a joint public/private sector venture with Deloitte Northern Ireland, to promote Belfast at the international property event, MIPIM.

Ms Wylie said Belfast, which was recently named among the top ten European cities for its economic potential, needs to be ready to take advantage of the introduction of a new rate of corporation tax from April 2018 and said the city council has a number of schemes underway to prepare for this.

“We have set out new and exciting plans for the Linen Quarter to support Grade A office space and new hotels. This represents a bold new vision for the Central Business District that will see the area provide a home for corporate occupiers looking for a prestigious address in the city.

“We have set up our own City Centre Investment Fund and for the first time agreed in principle to co-invest in the development of a significant joint venture in the north end of the city centre - namely the Belfast Telegraph site,” Ms Wylie added.

She said this will be the first in a number of investments that the city council hopes to make in projects that will deliver jobs, economic investment and create new opportunities to add to what it already has to offer.