Belfast Telegraph

£75m revamp plan for former Belfast Telegraph building

By Margaret Canning

A proposed £75m revamp of the former home of the Belfast Telegraph with the potential to support 2,000 jobs is unveiled today.

In its first joint venture with a private sector developer, Belfast City Council is joining Co Tyrone firm McAleer and Rushe in a project to turn the building into 'The Sixth'.

It would support 650 construction jobs.

BelTel LLP launches the project, intended to be the centrepiece of a new creative district in the city, at property conference MIPIM in the south of France today.

It hopes to carry out a major refurbishment of the listed building, turning it into flexible workspace and commercial space, with cafes, restaurants and shops on the ground floor.

Its name is derived from the Belfast Telegraph street vendors' refrain of "Sixth late Tele", referring to a late edition of the newspaper.

BelTel LLP has lined up London architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris to design the build.

The joint venture, which bought the site two years ago, has lodged a proposal of application notice for the scheme.

A 12-week consultation will be held before a planning application is lodged.

A spokesman for the limited liability partnership said the notice was "a significant step forward for the project that will see an investment of £75m to bring one of Belfast's most famous landmarks back into active use".

The site is close to the new Ulster University campus, phase two of which could be delayed until 2022. Stephen Surphlis, property director of McAleer and Rushe, said: "These are important proposals that will bring a landmark building associated with the news industry back into use for a digital age.

"Adjacent to both the Ulster University campus and Central Library, The Sixth will play an important role in the regeneration of Belfast by delivering high quality workspace for global and local businesses, particularly those in the professional, creative and technology sectors."

The Belfast Telegraph building was home to the newspaper from 1886 to 2016.

Mairead O'Donnell, chair of Belfast City Council's growth and regeneration committee, said it l had made "the strategic decision to invest in this part of the city centre and stimulate further regeneration".

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris has carried out major heritage redevelopments in Britain, including the Angel Building in Islington and the Tea Building in Shoreditch, both London.

It has also carried out work on a crime museum in the basement of New Scotland Yard.

Belfast Telegraph

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