Translink are working in collaboration with the Department for International Trade, the Northern Ireland Strategic Investment Board and Invest Northern Ireland to showcase the exciting development opportunities Weavers Cross has to offer. Recently included within the Investment Portfolio for Northern Ireland, Weavers Cross as part of a government investment portfolio will have powerful tools for sharing the opportunities with the international investment community.
The Investment Portfolio will help build on the great successes and obvious opportunities available in Northern Ireland. These already include Northern Ireland’s position as the World’s No 1 international investment location for US cyber security development projects and Belfast’s No 1 position for financial services technology development projects. There are already over 900 international companies in Northern Ireland and its business friendly environment and top quality investment proposition has led to 75% of new investors choosing to reinvest. Expenditure on research and development are increasing, supported by the availability of superfast and ultrafast broadband. This vital infrastructure is one of the factors behind the phenomenal growth in knowledge industries within this region.
Northern Ireland offers a compelling investment proposition for investors seeking opportunities and one which is expected to strengthen further, especially should we see the future devolution and reduction of corporation tax rate to 12.5%.
The education system is considered one of the best in Europe and consistently outperforms all other UK regions at GCSE and A-level qualifications (high school leaving equivalent). Weavers Cross is located within walking distance of Northern Ireland’s two world ranked universities, Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University and the two main acute hospitals, Royal Victoria and Belfast City Hospital. Research universities and hospitals often termed as Ed’s and Med’s are increasingly important institutions for cities. Within Belfast the Eds and Meds sectors are some of the largest employers and their economic activities foster an entrepreneurial spirit and attract additional economic growth.
Exceptional visitor attractions, historic landmarks, a world renowned beautiful landscape, and market dynamics make for exciting potential and great opportunities within Tourism. Visitor numbers continue to rise with numbers up to 4.6 million in the year to September 2016. Visitors have also been staying longer and spending more as they are drawn to the Giants Causeway Coast, as well as visiting the locations made famous by HBO’s epic fantasy series Game of Thrones® which has been filmed largely in Northern Ireland since its pilot in 2010. Voted as the World’s Leading Visitor Attraction, Titanic Belfast is the world’s largest Titanic visitor experience and is located on the very spot where the famous ship was designed and launched. Since opening in April 2012, more than 3.5 million visitors from over 145 countries have visited the attraction.
This renaissance has given further confidence to investors with numerous hotel development schemes in Belfast. These and other development opportunities in this investment area contribute to the ambition to double the size of the tourism sector by 2020 and create a £1 billion industry
Weavers Cross can accommodate this multi-sector offer and will be the new gateway to Belfast. The government’s £multi-million investment , de-risks the project and provides the catalyst for a mixed-use opportunity. The development is capable of phasing and has considerable flexibility to supply changing sectors and demands taking advantage of its location within Belfast City Centre and the regional infrastructure links connecting it directly throughout Ireland.
Translink are in the process of developing the opportunities and undertaking market engagement to identify the preferred method of appointing a potential private sector development partner for this exciting prospective development.