Tourism Ireland and Belfast Waterfront Conference Centre,
this week at International Confex, unveiled new concept plans for an extension
to the venue.
The new space, when completed in 2016 will double the
venue’s conferencing space.
The extension will include 2,100sqm of clear span exhibition space, banqueting
facilities for 750 people and five breakout rooms, each capable of holding 200.
The £20m project is expected to bring £39m to the capital of Northern Ireland’s
economy annually, effectively doubling the value of conferencing and events in
Janice Crowe, Communications Manager Belfast Water Conference Centre, says:
“The proposed new extension will ensure that Belfast’s conference
facilities are seen as a real, and competitively priced alternative to the best
in the rest of the UK and Europe. We’ve already received significant interest
and support for our plans from key stakeholders and will begin marketing the
new concept over the next 12 months.”
Brian French, Conference and Events Manager for the Royal College of Nursing
Events welcomed the “fantastic news”.
“The RCN’s Council has an ongoing agenda to find new venues for its annual
congress, to bring it closer to the membership. This development in Belfast has
the potential to help the organisation in achieving this goal,” he adds.
For 2012, Tourism Ireland expects a sharp rise in events being booked in the
Titanic Belfast building which opens 31 March. The new building, which is
modelled on the hull of the Titanic, has 1,550sqm of space in the banqueting
hall and 245sqm of space in the mezzanine dining space.
David Boyce, Deputy Head of Tourism Ireland, said: “As a result of the new
Titanic Belfast opening in 2012, we forecast a significant increase in business
tourists to Northern Ireland this year versus 2011. When the Belfast Waterfront
expansion opens in 2016 we will see business visitor numbers increasing a
further 25,000 year on year. We expect spend and stay per conference visitor
will increase as the opening of Titanic Belfast and the Giants Causeway Visitor
Centre come into their own.”
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