05/10/2015

Mackie's Site To Be Transformed Into Ideas Hub

Part of the former Mackie's site is being transformed into an ideas hub for new and growing businesses under plans by Belfast City Council.

The £9.1 million Innovation Centre, at Forthriver Business Park, will support up to 400 jobs and encourage both local and foreign direct investment. The centre will provide support to over 100 businesses and entrepreneurs specialising in innovative business solutions.

Funding of £4.15 million was secured from the European Regional Development Fund, under the European Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland. Invest Northern Ireland has also offered £2.1 million. Belfast City Council is providing the remaining funding as part of its Investment Programme for the city.
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Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Arder Carson, said: "I'm delighted by how far work has come on in just a few short months, and excited by the opportunities this landmark project opens up for the city.

"Belfast has a rich history of innovation - air conditioning, the pneumatic tyre and defibrillators were all invented here - but today’s entrepreneurs lack the purpose-built space needed to develop their own world-class ideas. This investment will bridge that gap, providing dedicated support and facilities for the next generation of 'bright sparks' across a range of sectors, all within a stone's throw from Belfast Met's E3 campus and only 3km from the city centre.

"This is also a pivotal development for the surrounding communities, levering in jobs, training and other opportunities for neighbourhoods that have suffered badly from high levels of unemployment, poverty and segregation."

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