29/11/2010

Financial Services Campus Gets Green Light

Plans for a world-class financial services campus, to be located at Belfast's Titanic Quarter, (TQ) have moved one step closer following the formal granting of planning permission by the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland.

Acting on behalf of Titanic Quarter Limited, leading planning and urban design consultancy, Turley Associates, submitted the planning application for the scheme in November 2009.

The Financial Services Campus will comprise of approximately 54,000 sq m of new office space (restricted to financial services) together with other mixed ground floor and mezzanine uses including local retail, community uses and cafes, restaurants and bars.

The proposal will deliver a unique destination location that is currently unavailable in Northern Ireland, allowing Northern Ireland to compete internationally with similar campus developments.

The development of a Financial Services Campus at Titanic Quarter (apartments already under construction are pictured) will add to the overall concentration and synergy of financial service firms in Belfast and has support of Invest NI.

The scheme will be located adjacent to najor developments such as the new £44m Belfast Metropolitan College (which is currently under construction); the recently opened £30m Public Records Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI); and the fully occupied Citi offices known as the Gateway Offices.
News Image
Other developments within TQ include the recently opened Premier Inn hotel which forms part of the Arc residential/hotel scheme located at Abercorn Basin and the state of the art Titanic Signature Building (which is currently under construction).

Diana Fitzsimons, Director at Turley Associates, Belfast stated: "NI has a highly educated workforce in finance and this campus will provide inward investors with just the right quality of urban environment within which to flourish. The spin off benefits for the rest of the urban area will bring wider prosperity, counterbalancing the decline of other sectors of our economy."

The proposal will meet the Government's objectives in promoting a knowledge based economy and will reinforce plans to drive economic growth to ensure that new job opportunities are secured.

It is expected that the new Financial Services Campus will create approximately 3,200 new full time equivalent jobs (2,000 direct and 1,200 indirect or induced jobs) along with temporary construction jobs.

However, based on the occupancy rate (i.e. floor space per employee) at the newly occupied Citi offices at Titanic Quarter the total number of jobs created including direct and indirect or induced could be in excess of 5,000.

The creation of these jobs will ensure the retention of highly skilled and educated young people within NI.

The scheme architects are Belfast based Todd Architects, engineers are RPS Consulting and master planners Civic Arts.

(GK/BMcC)

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