Google plans new digital skills centre for Belfast
Tech giant Google is set to open one of its new digital skills training centres in Belfast city centre, it can be revealed.
The Google Digital Garage is one of the firm's flagship investment programmes in the UK, which allows people to learn digital skills through a range of courses, or one-to-one sessions.
It has hosted events across the UK and also boasts stand-alone locations in cities including Manchester and Edinburgh.
It now wants to set up shop at Arthur Square in the city centre. It's planning to take on an empty retail unit.
Plans have now been submitted for a new Google Digital Garage, which aims to provide free training classes for the public on digital skills and provide mixed-use study spaces.
It's the first of its kind in Northern Ireland.
The centre also plans on opening to the public seven days a week.
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The application says when rolled out in other locations, it has succeeded in generating footfall for the surrounding area by "attracting people into town centres for the services on offer".
It also says that the proposed change of use is "required on a temporary basis of only 12 months", before reverting back to retail use, suggesting it will not be permanent.