Green technology investors, developers and occupiers are being offered the chance to put down roots at a major new business development at Giant’s Park in north Belfast.
Belfast City Council today launched a marketing campaign to attract individuals and firms interested in developing at a £9.5 million Cleantech Hub currently under construction on the southern portion of the site. The project is funded by the council (£3.5 million), and part-funded by Invest Northern Ireland (£2 million) and the European Regional Development Fund, under the Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland (£4 million).
The new hub - the first of its kind in Northern Ireland - is expected to create up to 400 jobs in environmental, renewables, low carbon and other cleantech industries, and lever in investment of up to £105 million for Belfast once fully developed.
Those specialising in sustainable technologies are being invited to submit expressions of interest by Wednesday 27 January 2016 for plots within the c. 30 acre plant. The process is being managed by commercial estate agents Lisney, on behalf of the council.
Visiting the site today, Councillor Declan Boyle, Chair of Belfast City Council’s Strategic Policy and Resources Committee, said: “This is a unique opportunity for cleantech companies to be at the heart of cutting edge research, innovation and product development, with firms working side by side to tackle the biggest economic and environmental challenges of the 21st century.
“Although this is a new and ambitious market for us, Belfast is perfectly placed to take advantage of the growing cleantech sector in the UK and Ireland and become a world leader in this field, with the right mix of skilled workers, an accessible, central location, low operating costs and competitive rates.”
At 340 acres, Giant’s Park is the largest regeneration site in the city and offers huge potential to deliver economic, social and physical benefits. Works to install over 1,700m of roads and set up key services within the Cleantech Hub - the first major development to get underway at the park - began in May.
“Through our City Centre Regeneration and Investment Strategy, we have undertaken a range of projects to transform our city by creating additional revenue and employment opportunities, from the extended Belfast Waterfront to the new community hub at Girdwood,” explained Councillor Boyle.
“Opening up this massive area for development provides a further opportunity to create jobs and bring in additional rates which can, in turn, be reinvested back into the city and local communities. The new hub will also benefit the environment by delivering cheaper, greener solutions for citizens when it comes to heating and running their homes.”
With strong access to all major roads and ports, Giant’s Park is ideally suited to house both new and existing green tech firms. The site is already home to an existing landfill gas to renewable electricity conversion plant, powering around 2,500 homes in Belfast.
“There are over 800 cleantech companies located throughout Northern Ireland, and the Cleantech Hub represents a strong opportunity to cluster their activities together in order to drive synergies and innovation,” said David McNellis, Director of Lisney.
“Belfast is already regarded as one of the most business friendly cities of its size, with more than 800 international companies investing in Northern Ireland in recent years. This scheme will now firmly position the city as a leading destination for green technology, enhancing the profile of the sector here, as well as generating interest beyond these shores.
“Serviced plots at the hub will range from 0.5 to 30 acres, accommodating buildings from 2,000 sq ft. We expect to see these occupied by businesses working across various cleantech sectors, including recovery and recycling, water treatment, energy management, renewable consulting, waste management and land reclamation.”
Interested parties can submit their initial expressions of interest online at www.thegiantspark.co.uk by 5pm on Wednesday 27 January 2016.
Sites will be available for development from spring 2016, following the completion of the current infrastructure works.