Belfast's Ormeau Baths to be used as entrepreneurial IT hub
The historic Ormeau Baths building is to be revitalised as a hub for Belfast tech talent.
The 19th century wash house turned art gallery is being transformed into an "entrepreneurial campus" to support Belfast's most ambitious IT companies.
It is intended to become a collaborative space for co-working and is supported by four businessmen originally from Northern Ireland.
A spokesman for the venture said: " The founders of the Ormeau Baths co-workspace aim to create an entrepreneurial hub in the former bath house and gallery that will help the best and brightest indigenous tech start-ups access new markets, networks, funding and hands on expertise to provide them the opportunity to scale their businesses outside of Northern Ireland into international markets."
Ormeau Baths is intended to provide entrepreneurs with access to mentorship, connectivity to global networks, time with experts and service providers and help accessing funding and business development opportunities.
Work to fit the baths out will begin this month and be complete within three months.
One of the entrepreneurs behind the venture, Jon Bradford, said: "Historically there has never been a lack of exceptionally talented entrepreneurs from Belfast but they have had to go elsewhere to achieve their full potential.
"But this exodus of talent has never allowed the local digital ecosystem to flourish.
"Ormeau Baths will be the lightning rod for the Northern Irish tech sector diaspora to connect with and help build that community by investing their money, opening up their networks, sharing their expertise and giving Belfast start-ups a true sense of what's accessible to them and the bigger opportunity.
"We have some great companies in Belfast and we want to see more of them grow and scale successfully."