Titanic Quarter lets its CEO go in restructuring

Titanic Quarter is one of North’s economic successes with more than 100 companies

David Gavaghan: chief executive of Titanic Quarter since June 2012

David Gavaghan: chief executive of Titanic Quarter since June 2012

 

Titanic Quarter, the company responsible for Belfast’s most important waterfront development, is to restructure its operations and has already removed its chief executive, David Gavaghan.

Mr Gavaghan, who just 13 days ago was revealed as the new vice-chairman of one of the North’s leading business organisations – the Confederation of British Industry NI – had been chief executive since June 2012.

Titanic Quarter, is part of the Dublin-based group Harcourt Developments, which has held the development rights to the 185 acres of land, previously home to the former Harland & Wolff shipyard in east Belfast, since 1998.

The Titanic Quarter is one of Northern Ireland’s economic successes, with more than 100 companies, which employ 4,000 people, in the area. It is also home to Northern Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction, Titanic Belfast and boasts a thriving media campus where the hit television series Game of Thrones is filmed.

‘Benchmarking process’

Pat Doherty

“As a consequence, we have restructured TQL’s team and reduced headcount by removing three senior positions. We remain, however, strongly committed to Northern Ireland and our plans for Titanic Quarter remain unchanged.”

Latest published financial accounts for TQL covering the 2013 calendar year highlight some of its recent financial difficulties. The company suffered pre-tax losses of more than £37.5 million (€50.8m). At the time, it referred to the decision by RBS/Ulster Bank to sell TQL loans and the potential uncertainty this could create with regard to any future funding requirements.

The American investment fund, Davidson Kempner, subsequently bought the TQL loans last September as part of the Project Achill transaction.

In the accounts TQL said it was “dependent” on the support of its ultimate parent company.