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DoF investment will complement Belfast City Council Investment Fund

20 Mar 2017
Belfast City Council has welcomed today’s announcement by the Department of Finance [DoF] of a £100 million investment initiative, saying that it will complement the council’s own plans for a new fund to support Grade A office development in Belfast.

DoF today published its intention to appoint a fund management company to invest its £100 milllion fund, with the aim of increasing private sector-led development, infrastructure and low carbon projects. Offices are among the main areas targeted for investment through the initiative.

Commenting on the announcement, Councillor Aileen Graham, Chair of the City Growth and Regeneration Committee said: “We are extremely ambitious for more commercial development in the city, and believe we can attract another £1 billion of real estate investment into Belfast through the development of new offices, hotels and leisure, residential and retail developments.

“Belfast City Council will be doing everything we can to help Belfast realise this target, including launching a new fund to support Grade A office development in the city within the next number of weeks. We see DoF’s £100 million investment initiative very much as complementary to this. The council fund is smaller and could represent some early pilot projects.

“We will work closely with DoF to ensure that these complementary initiatives work hand in hand, where appropriate, to maximise the potential economic benefits for Belfast and the wider region.”

Suzanne Wylie, Chief Executive of Belfast City Council, said that these investments are just the latest in a series of positive developments for the city, following a series of announcements last week at MIPIM – the world’s largest international property investment conference, held each year in France.

“Last week representatives from Belfast City Council formed part of a 70-strong delegation of private business leaders from Belfast travelling to MIPIM, where we met with international investors, developers and occupiers to showcase the wealth of opportunities that the city has to offer for investment and development,” she said.

“We made a number of exciting announcements – including the commitment of £100 m investment in Belfast by hoteliers, Signature Living in the coming years, and confirmation of HMRC’s new regional hub in Belfast, which will consolidate 1,400-1,700 jobs in the city centre. We also heard Citi Group’s UK Chief reaffirm its commitment to Belfast despite Brexit – thanks to the city’s cost competitiveness and rich talent offering – and Titanic Quarter’s intention to build 148,000 sq ft offices, to be called Olympic House.”

Ms Wylie said that the energy and momentum that are driving Belfast’s growth and success were very much present at MIPIM, contributing to a “hugely successful” three days.

“We were greatly encouraged by the sheer level of interest in Belfast from international delegates,” she continued. “Over the three days the Belfast delegation hosted more than 20 events, featuring over 40 speakers and showcasing a wealth of real estate opportunities for investment and development across the city.

“We welcomed hundreds of visitors to the Belfast stand, most of whom requested more information and a desire to visit the city. Alongside this, the Belfast City Council team alone conducted over 45 meetings with individuals showing an interest in Belfast, on top of numerous meetings arranged by the private sector members of the delegation.

“All of this bodes very well for the city, but the hard work has only just begun. We will now set about following up with the investors and developers we met at MIPIM to arrange further meetings and visits to Belfast. I am confident that we will begin to see the fruits of MIPIM 2017 come to bear in our city in the coming months.”
Donegall Quay Belfast