14 March 2018 News
Major plans for a £75m redevelopment of the former Belfast Telegraph building in Belfast city centre have been unveiled.
The mixed-use scheme, to be known as ‘The Sixth’, will include 30,000 square metres of commercial space, including state-of-the-art workspace, and ‘active’ ground floor uses such as cafes, restaurants and retail.
The project’s name is inspired by the newspaper’s original evening edition. The street vendors’ call of “Sixth Late Tele” was familiar throughout Belfast for more than a century.
Designed by Stirling Prize-winning architectural practice Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM), the proposals will deliver 2,000 high value jobs as part of an emerging creative district centred on the education, culture, media and technology sectors.
The announcement comes as a Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) for the scheme was submitted by Bel Tel LLP, the site owners. The LLP, which acquired the site in late 2016, is the first joint venture by Belfast City Council with a private developer, McAleer and Rushe.
The submission of the PAN marks a significant milestone for the project that will see an investment of £75 million to bring one of Belfast’s most famous landmarks back into active use.
Launching the proposals Stephen Surphlis, Property Director of McAleer and Rushe, on behalf of Bel Tel LLP said:
“These are important proposals that will bring a landmark building associated with the news industry back into use for a digital age. Adjacent to both the Ulster University Campus and Central Library, The Sixth will play an important role in the regeneration of Belfast by delivering high quality workspace for global and local businesses, particularly those in the creative and technology sectors."
Built in 1886, the Belfast Telegraph building was home to the city’s newspaper for more than 100 years, before it moved to new premises in June 2016. The grade B2 Listed Building will be comprehensively refurbished as part of the redevelopment of the wider one-acre site.
Suzanne Wylie, Chief Executive of Belfast City Council explained:
“The partnership is delighted to unveil its plans for The Sixth. The Sixth will add to the vibrancy of this emerging creative district and help stimulate further regeneration in Belfast”.
The proposals for the site include a public walking route through the building, and new retail and food and beverage opportunities on the ground floor that will enliven the streetscape and provide a range of amenities to the area.
Ms Wylie explained that the proposed scheme is being showcased to an international audience of investors, developers and occupiers today at MIPIM in Cannes – the world’s largest real estate conference.
“Our attendance at MIPIM is about highlighting Belfast’s investment potential and the wealth of fantastic regeneration opportunities, like The Sixth, that exist in our city.” She continued, “MIPIM provides us with the perfect platform on which to showcase this exciting scheme which will bring significant benefits to the locality, creating new retail and restaurant opportunities and bringing one of the city’s most loved buildings back to life. The partnership is working with renowned architects AHMM to create new workspace in the city centre for the businesses that will deliver the future growth of Belfast’s economy.”
A planning application for the scheme will be submitted following a 12-week pre-application community consultation led by national planning consultants Turley. The consultation will encourage local residents, businesses and other members of the public to provide an opportunity to see and comment on the plans.
Stephen Surphlis, Property Director of McAleer and Rushe