Waterfront Hall extension a big plus for economy
THE redevelopment of the Waterfront Hall is a major opportunity for Belfast and Northern Ireland. This project has been a long time in development, but will provide our economy with a major boost.
The figures show that conference delegates outspend other types of tourists by a factor of more than five. In such a context it is, therefore, in the interests of our city to have a world-class conference facility to attract such visitors to Belfast.
One of the advantages that Belfast enjoys over other cities is our size. Belfast is a small city in comparison to places like Manchester, or London.
This means that a professional body or group that chooses to host its conference in the capital can be guaranteed that their conference will be an "event" in terms of media coverage and Press publicity.
If they opt to hold their event elsewhere in the larger cities, they will not be guaranteed to attract the same level of publicity.
One of the major advantages of the changes that we are undertaking will also be to ease the burden that the Waterfront presently costs the ratepayers of the city, freeing up resources to be spent on other things, such as parks and other frontline services.
Saving the ratepayers money, creating extra jobs and providing a boost to our economy: the Waterfront Hall is a good news story for Northern Ireland.
ALD CHRISTOPHER STALFORD (DUP)
Belfast City Council