Failed Bioscience and Technology Institute wasted over £2m

Belfast City Hospital The Bioscience and Technology Institute had originally been planned for a site at Belfast City Hospital.

Related Stories

More than £2m of taxpayers' money was wasted setting up a failed Bioscience and Technology Institute, the public spending watchdog has revealed.

The Audit Office has said it is also concerned about a £100,000 fee paid out in the hunt for suitable premises.

The institute was set up in 1998 to help companies specialising in biotechnology.

It was meant to have been sited at Belfast City Hospital but instead opted for a building in the harbour estate.

The building - called 'Harbourgate' - proved too expensive to fit out and the entire project went bust.

Harbourgate was sold off but did not make enough money to repay any of the £2.2m in grants paid through the Department of Enterprise.

As well as criticising the waste of taxpayers' money, the Audit Office has also raised concerns over the payment of a £100,000 finder's fee in connection to the Harbourgate building.

The audit report said that £25,000 of this went to one of the institute's board members, Teresa Townsley. She had not told any of the other board members about the payment.

The money was paid into an overseas bank account controlled by Mrs Townsley and her husband. She did not co-operate with the Audit Office investigation.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Northern Ireland stories

RSS

Features

  • Nigel Farage (left) and Douglas CarswellWho's next?

    The Tory MPs being tipped to follow Carswell to UKIP


  • A painting of the White House on fire by Tom FreemanFinders keepers

    The odd objects looted by the British from Washington in 1814


  • President Barack Obama pauses during a press conference on 28 August.'No strategy'

    Obama's gaffe on Islamic State reveals political truth


  • Chris and Regina Catrambone with their daughter Maria LuisaSOS

    The millionaires who rescue people at sea


  • Plane7 days quiz

    What unusual offence got a Frenchman thrown off a plane?


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.