Belfast Telegraph

£75m plans to redevelop old Belfast Telegraph building approved by Belfast council

The old Belfast Telegraph building on Royal Avenue
The old Belfast Telegraph building on Royal Avenue

A £75m plan to redevelop the former Belfast Telegraph building has been approved by Belfast City Council's planning committee.

The plans, which were before the council's planning committee on Tuesday evening, will see the Royal Avenue site be transformed into 230,000 square feet of office space, cafes, restaurants, retail space and a roof-top running track.

The plans were prepared by Bel Tel LLP, a joint venture between McAleer & Rushe and Belfast City Council. The building will be called The Sixth.

The original clock

Councillor Matt Garrett, chair of Belfast City Council’s planning committee, said: “The Sixth occupies a strategic location on Royal Avenue that will be a catalyst for further regeneration, bringing a historic heritage building back into use as a forward-thinking workspace for creative businesses.

“The scheme has been specifically designed to respect the existing built heritage in this part of the city, which is set to be further transformed over the next two to three years, and The Sixth will build on the momentum already generated by the Ulster University investment.”

Suzanne Wylie, chief executive of Belfast City Council said: “The aim of this joint venture is a strategic investment in the city, delivering workspace of a world class scale and quality for local or international occupiers seeking accommodation in the city core.

“Council has a particular focus on wellness and wellbeing within the Belfast Agenda, and the inclusion of a roof-top running track as part of this development, highlights the evolving nature and role of workspace in the city centre. The Sixth will create real estate that better reflects how and where we work, whilst also bringing back into life a building of significance to our city and media’s commercial heritage.”

Artist impression of plans for the old Belfast Telegraph building on Royal Avenue.

Stephen Surphlis, Property Director McAleer & Rushe, said: “We are extremely pleased that councillors have supported our plans, and have supported the officer’s recommendation to approve our application. We look forward to progressing the development as quickly as funding is in place to deliver the project.

“As the first joint venture of its kind Bel Tel LLP assembled an experienced team to bring forward proposals that underlined a balance between the heritage of the listed building and the future regeneration of this part of the city.

They have been informed by productive discussion and constructive feedback from Belfast City Council Planners, Historic Environment Division and other statutory consultees over the past 12 months.”

Designed by Stirling Prize-winning architectural practice Alford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM), the Sixth will create accommodation for 2,000 high value jobs.

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