Northern Ireland

£150m revamp is planned for Belfast

Belfast City Council has released details of what it says amounts to a £150m investment programme in the city over the next three years.

Half of the money will be used to overhaul its facilities.

This includes a proposed £20m extension to the Waterfront Hall to boost its potential as a venue for major conventions.

The council said the money would not just come from rates, but also from Europe and Stormont.

The Waterfront Hall will be just one of a number of facilities to benefit, with significant spending also earmarked for council leisure facilities and the old Floral Hall building within the grounds of Belfast Zoo.

A total of £34m is pledged to support economic growth and £29m for community development.

The programme has cross-party support and is partly based on a 2.6% hike in the rates which goes before council for approval on Wednesday evening.

The council said that rates rise would be well below the level of inflation.

The aim of the programme, according to the council, is to support business and create employment.