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An artist’s impression of The Vantage at Great Victoria Street, Belfast

An artist’s impression of The Vantage at Great Victoria Street, Belfast

An artist’s impression of The Vantage at Great Victoria Street, Belfast

The developer of new £25m grade A offices in Belfast city centre is hoping features such as an 11th floor penthouse will tempt the "hybrid" workforce of the future.

The Vantage, built on Great Victoria Street by MRP - part of Co Tyrone firm McAleer & Rushe - is due to open next year.

Around 150 construction jobs will be supported during building work, which has already begun. The offices, when complete, will have room for 750 people but will also be equipped for "virtual" connections with those working remotely.

MRP has appointed architects Consarc Deign Group and interior designers PLY Design to work on the project, which entails the refurbishment of the existing building and a two-floor extension upwards.

Letting agents said The Vantage would lend itself to typical office working as well as companies who are adapting to a more flexible, hybrid model.

Most office-based firms are continuing with some form of working between home and offices after nearly all staff worked from home in lockdown.

A survey carried out by Belfast Chamber two weeks ago found that just 5% of Belfast city centre's office workers were back to their desks - threatening an economic impact for the city centre of about £200m.

According to the developers, The Vantage will have attractions such as "unparalleled panoramic views from the 11th floor penthouse balcony (and) an impressive double-height feature reception".

There will also be staff facilities such as showers, changing facilities and bicycle storage.

Stephen Surphlis, managing director of MRP, said the project was a real "show of confidence" in the economy: "Conscious that more people than ever before will be connecting with colleagues virtually, the building will also be certified for the highest level of internet connectivity."

Lambert Smith Hampton and Osborne King have been jointly appointed as letting agents for the project. Greg Henry from Lambert Smith Hampton said: "The building benefits from superb amenities, which we know will be increasingly important to employers who may have more of their workforce working remotely or in the office part time for the foreseeable future."

Richard McCaig from Osborne King said that while occupiers were using office space differently, "we have no doubt that space of this quality will see continued demand".

Belfast Telegraph