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Belfast hall that once hosted rock's biggest names to be PPE store

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Nugent Hall, which is adjacent to the main King's Hall building, has been made watertight and refitted with electricity to allow the safe storage of face masks, protective gowns and other essential gear

Nugent Hall, which is adjacent to the main King's Hall building, has been made watertight and refitted with electricity to allow the safe storage of face masks, protective gowns and other essential gear

Nugent Hall, which is adjacent to the main King's Hall building, has been made watertight and refitted with electricity to allow the safe storage of face masks, protective gowns and other essential gear

One of the remaining buildings in the King's Hall complex has been reconfigured to store personal protective equipment (PPE) for use by NHS workers.

The 25,000 square feet Nugent Hall, which is adjacent to the main King's Hall building, has been made watertight and refitted with electricity to allow the safe storage of face masks, protective gowns and other essential gear.

The building is being made available by Benmore Octopus, which is in the process of developing the site.

Work to prepare the building as an NHS storage facility has been carried out at cost or discounted rates by H&J Martin, CBRE, A&L Goodbody, AEM, G2 Environmental, Thornton Roofing, JP Corry and Ballymoney Scaffolding.

Nugent Hall was previously used, along with the King's Hall, to host the Balmoral Show and other trade events, and over the years was a standalone venue for a number of legendary concerts by bands such as AC/DC, The Prodigy, Ozzy Osbourne, Blondie and Aerosmith.

It has lain vacant since it was vacated in 2013 by owner The Royal Ulster Agricultural Society, which has since moved to the former Maze site.

Benmore Octopus has started construction on another part of the site of the King's Hall Health and Wellbeing Park.

It is to become home to a range of healthcare providers, elderly and assisted living accommodation, and as a base for a range of precision medicine companies.

H&J Martin is in the process of building Dataworks, a new precision medicine hub designed to attract data-focused medical companies to a secure and collaborative space.

Local firm Diaceutics, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, has already signed up as an anchor tenant for 10,000 square feet of space and others are expected to follow suit.

David Burrows, director at Benmore Octopus, said: "We are delighted to be able to offer a storage facility to the NHS for such vital equipment in the fight against coronavirus.

"Over the years the King's Hall complex has played its part in times of national crisis, lending itself as an assembly point for aircraft and as a shelter for soldiers during World War II.

"We, along with our partners from CBRE and H&J Martin, felt it was only right that we follow in that tradition by offering the Nugent Hall to the NHS so that we can play our part in this national effort."

Benmore Octopus is a joint venture between Benmore Group and Octopus Real Estate.

Benmore Group is an award-winning Northern Ireland-based investment and development business specialising in urban regeneration projects across all the various property sectors.

Octopus Real Estate, part of the Octopus Group, is a leading UK specialist real estate lender and investor with £2.1 billion funds under management.

Belfast Telegraph