Belfast Telegraph

Grant Thornton takes on new offices at city centre bank building

By John Mulgrew

Professional services firm Grant Thornton is moving into new offices at the Danske Bank building in Belfast city centre.

The bank says it has reached an agreement with Grant Thornton for the business to take over the third floor at its Donegall Square West headquarters from November.

Grant Thornton is moving more than 100 staff from the firm's Clarence Street West office amid huge growth.

It's understood the Danske Bank building will also see new Grant Thornton signage erected.

Danske's head office was built in 1970, and became a listed building in 2016.

Richard Gillan, managing partner of Grant Thornton in Northern Ireland, said: "Over the last two years we've witnessed remarkable growth across all business streams at Grant Thornton. We've doubled our revenues and remain very optimistic about the future.

"Our move to this iconic building on Donegall Square reflects that confidence, and will provide a fitting and professional environment that will help facilitate our continued expansion."

And Kevin Kingston, chief executive of Danske Bank, said: "In the current prolonged low interest rate environment, banks across the UK are continuing to look at ways to reduce their cost bases.

"We have taken an innovative approach to this challenge, with a rationale of seeking to implement change that does not negatively impact our customers.

"We have a large portfolio of property assets and, as a prudent business, we need to make sure that they are utilised to the best advantage of the bank, our customers and our staff.

"We are delighted to have reached a tenancy agreement with Grant Thornton, one of Northern Ireland's leading advisory businesses.

"Danske Bank is also continuing to invest in, and improve, the quality of its premises.

"In recent months this has included wide-ranging refurbishment at our Donegall Square West headquarters and Killeaton House in Dunmurry, as well as the opening of a new modern branch in Downpatrick town centre.

"In the coming weeks we will also open a new City Hall facing corporate lobby at Donegall Square West, which will be used by both our staff and our tenants."

Grant Thornton is one of several major companies looking for new office space in the city.

Citigroup, which employs around 1,500 people here, is looking for new headquarters.

There had been speculation that the newly announced £26.5m Olympic House office development in the Titanic Quarter could be one option for the company. Citi's main base is located nearby at the Gateway Offices.

And Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) is also looking for a new office in Belfast to house hundreds of its employees. The power company is seeking up to 30,000 sq ft of space in the greater city area.

Belfast Telegraph