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Bedford House: Troubled landmark office block is revamped

By Margaret Canning

A Belfast city centre office block, which was affected by bombings more than 20 times during the Troubles, has been revamped.

Bedford House has been transformed in a 12 month project, and now has a new reception area.  

The double-storey reception is fitted with Carrara Marble and features a four metre high video wall.

And a new espresso bar, Franklin & James, has also been fitted out on the mezzanine floor. 

The relaunch represents a multi-million pound investment by owners Ulster Estates.  Around 40% of the building is occupied by business advisers EY and insurance broker and risk management firm Marsh.

A new high-end gym is to be installed in the building in the new year for use of tenant companies. 

Marsh was one of the first tenants of Bedford House when it opened in the late 1960s.  And the firm has just taken a further 15 year lease.

Peter Kelly, senior vice president of Marsh and head of the firm’s Belfast office, said “With the renewal of our lease, Marsh looks forward to celebrating over five decades of doing business from Bedford House.

“This is a prestigious development and the renewal of our lease is testament to our commitment to our clients across Belfast and Northern Ireland.”

Douglas Wheeler of agents Lambert Smith Hampton said:  “This has been an astute and forward thinking development by the owners of Bedford House.

“Belfast is continuing to attract investment from many of the world’s most successful organisations but the shortage of high quality office space of the calibre found in capital cities such as London and New York has become a major factor.

“Big players in the consultancy, financial and insurance sectors, in particular, are demanding not only excellent landmark locations and flexible space but also high-end facilities such as on site gyms and casual break-out areas for their workforce and clients. 

“Bedford House has risen to the opportunity and has set a new standard for future commercial developments in the city centre.”

Bedford House was affected by bombings on 27 occasions during the Troubles.

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