Jack Nicklaus-designed luxury golf course for Belfast
A top-end multi-million pound luxury golf course designed by golfing legend Jack Nicklaus could be coming to Northern Ireland.
It is understood that the 18-time Major winner has written to owners Belfast City Council about a proposal to build a course at the Giant's Park site on the North Foreshore.
- The Open LIVE: Tee-times, leaderboard, TV schedule - Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and more aim for glory at Carnoustie
The tract, which could become one of our most prestigious courses, measures 200 acres.
Plans were launched for the area's redevelopment three years ago. It is believed the golf course is one of four proposals put to the council for redevelopment of the massive site.
One of the game's greatest players, 78-year-old Nicklaus has had 117 career wins.
These included six victories at the Masters at Augusta, three Open wins, five in the PGA Championship, and he took the trophy at the US Open on four occasions.
He has designed more than 300 courses worldwide, including several elsewhere in Ireland and Britain.
These include Killeen Castle in Co Meath and Mount Juliet in Co Kilkenny, which has hosted to the Irish Open. Giant's Park has received almost £10m in cash from the council, Invest NI and the EU. Part of the site includes the £20m Belfast Harbour film studio, which opened last year.
Earlier this year Belfast City Council's director of property and projects Gerry Millar revealed that four proposals had been forwarded for the land, but the details have not been disclosed. He was speaking at the MIPIM property event in Cannes, where a delegation of 80 Belfast businesses showcased the city to international property investors, developers and occupiers.
"This 200-acre portion of the Giant's Park site represents one of the largest single commercial development opportunities ever to have come to the market in Belfast and, unsurprisingly, has attracted a significant amount of interest from local and international parties alike," he said.
"I am pleased to say that we have received four proposals for the site - each very different and very exciting in their own right, and each presenting their respective vision for a commercial leisure and tourism-led, mixed used development."
Belfast City Council said: "We are considering a number of development proposals in relation to Giant's Park and information relating to them remains confidential." Heathrow Airport officials paid a visit to the site as part of a Northern Ireland tour of those bidding to win the regional contract for a logistics hub for the off-site construction of its third runway.
The proposals have progressed to the second stage of a two-stage process for the 340-acre council-owned site, which was launched three years ago.
The council says up to 400 new jobs are anticipated at a new environmental resource park, situated across 30 acres of the southern area of the site.
The so-called 'cleantech hub' will house a range of companies from across the environmental, renewables and low carbon industries.