Belfast Telegraph

Titanic Quarter £75m loan move will 'progress plans for more developments'

By John Mulgrew

The Titanic Quarter in Belfast has refinanced £75m worth of loans with Danske Bank. The deal, with companies behind the development, involves the refinancing of its investment assets and the release of the development lands into the control of the shareholders.

Titanic Quarter is one of Belfast's largest redevelopment projects, and includes the popular tourist spot, Titanic Belfast.

The site, which was created by Donegal developer Pat Doherty and billionaire financier Dermot Desmond, covers 185 acres of mixed-use development.

It's now home to the £90m Titanic Belfast, visited by more than two million people from 145 countries, and the huge set of one of the world's most successful television series, Game of Thrones, filmed in a former shipyard paint hall.

More than 18,000 people work, live and study in the area, which is one of Europe's largest waterfront regeneration schemes.

Around £425m has already been spent, with the development also including the Catalyst science and technology park, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, as well as a number of major international firms, such as Citi, Microsoft and IBM.

Work is also well under way on a new hotel at the former Harland & Wolff drawing offices, located beside Titanic Belfast.

James Eyre, commercial director of Titanic Quarter, said that the new "long-term facilities will optimise Titanic Quarter's strategy to progress further planned developments including grade A offices, media, hotels, residential, leisure and tourism".

"These are exciting times for the company and we are now looking forward to progressing the next phases of development which will be great for Titanic Quarter and Belfast," he said.

A total of 1.5 million sq ft of land has been developed.

Plans for phase two, to be completed by 2020, include a further investment of £395m to develop office space, hotels and apartments. The entire regeneration of Titanic Quarter is due to be completed by 2034.

And Ciaran McLaughlin, corporate banking manager at Danske Bank, said: "Danske Bank is pleased to have agreed long-term facilities with Titanic Quarter on its existing investment assets, which are strategically important to the city.

"It was an easy decision for Danske Bank to get involved given the project's significance."

Last year, a legal battle between Belfast Harbour and Titanic Quarter was settled amid claims the agreement "marks an opportunity to reinvigorate" the area.

It was a High Court battle that threatened to delay major new developments on Belfast's waterfront. The city's Harbour Commissioners and developer Titanic Quarter Ltd were locked in a dispute over a master agreement.

But a court was told both sides signed off on a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) to resolve their differences.

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