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Titanic scheme boosted by Executive’s backing

Government backing for key Titanic Quarter projects will pave the way for further business and leisure developments that will bring jobs to Belfast, the promoters of the regeneration scheme have said.

Welcoming the Executive's decision to progress the £97m Titanic Quarter Signature project and a £150m Rapid Transit system linking it to the city, Belfast Harbour Commissioners and Titanic Quarter Ltd said the move represented a chance to reclaim the Titanic brand for Northern Ireland.

The co-promoters will contribute more than £40m to the signature project, which will be owned and managed by an independent charitable trust.

The Executive confirmed last week it would offer up £43.5m towards the tourist attraction and education centre, which will create an estimated 600 jobs in the construction phase and 200 in tourism when finished.

Mike Smith, Titanic Quarter Ltd's CEO, said: “This is a great example of the private and public sector working together to deliver tangible and long-lasting economic benefits for Northern Ireland.

“The announcement will also pave the way for other related developments such as hotels and additional leisure space.

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“This is a major economic boost that will complement the ongoing commercial and residential developments at Titanic Quarter.”

The Titanic-themed centre is expected to attract 800,000 users a year and generate an annual £46m for the local economy.

Len O'Hagan, chairman of BHC, added: “Tourism is an important but only one part of Titanic Quarter, and the Signature project will build upon and add to new jobs which are already being created in Northern Ireland's first Financial Services Sector and through the development of other opportunities in sectors such as digital media and connected health.

“In addition, the proposed Rapid Transit system will also open up the Signature project and Titanic Quarter as a whole, helping everyone from across Belfast to access the employment, leisure and education opportunities which are being delivered on the site.”

Titanic Quarter last week also won the Property Deal of the Year award at the Irish Property Awards for securing Citi Group as anchor tenant for its 150,000 sq ft Gateway Office.