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Jobs boost in east Belfast

Investment totalling £125million in two East Belfast projects will generate a total of 340 jobs.

The Harland & Wolff drawing offices in the Titanic Quarter, a Grade B+ listed building, will be transformed into a boutique hotel thanks to a £5m heritage lottery grant, creating 109 jobs.

In another major announcement, the government and Executive announced the approval of a business case for a £120m research and development project at Bombardier Aerospace in Belfast, which will create over 230 jobs.

East Belfast MP Naomi Long said the news signified "another vote of confidence in the highly skilled and dedicated workforce at the East Belfast factory.

Alliance east Belfast MLA Judith Cochrane welcomed the grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund programme to restore the H&W HQ building and drawing offices.

She said: "It is great news that a key part of our shipbuilding heritage will be restored with this grant. I hope this new hotel will become another place for tourists to see part of the Titanic's history.

"This is the latest in a number of recent encouraging signs for our economy, following major job announcements by Bombardier and Stream Global Services in East Belfast."

DUP MLA Robin Newton said: "Building a new hotel within the long derelict office block where Titanic was designed will boost local tourism, supply businesses, create jobs and bring improved life to the area.

"Building on the heritage of the world's most famous ship offers an opportunity for the brand new hotel to be distinctive and unique in a world setting."

NI Conservatives' economy spokesman, Johnny Andrews commented: "Belfast is one of the UK's leading maritime heritage centres and this project will be a huge asset to the Titanic Quarter, which is already booming."

Belfast Telegraph