Northern Ireland

Belfast Telegraph: Belfast City Council in joint venture plan

Image caption Belfast City Council has established a £19m city centre development fund to use for private sector partnership projects

Belfast City Council could form a joint venture with a property firm to redevelop the Belfast Telegraph building.

The building was bought by Cookstown firm McAleer and Rushe earlier this month.

The council has established a £19m city centre development fund intended to be used for private sector partnership projects.

Officers have been granted approval to pursue discussions with the firm.

The council's Strategic & Policy Resources Committee made the decision on Friday.

It is understood that any deal would involve the council investing several million pounds for a half share in the venture.

Negotiations are likely to take at least three months.

Image caption If a deal is done it would be the first of its kind in Northern Ireland

The council will have to be satisfied that any development would complement the nearby Ulster University campus and provide a stimulus for wider investment.

If a deal is done it would be the first of its kind in Northern Ireland.

The council has been keen to attract the BBC to that part of the city and direct involvement in a commercial development could assist its case.

BBC Northern Ireland is planning to move from its premises at Broadcasting House on Ormeau Avenue but has yet to decide on a site.

The BBC has previously been linked with a move to Titanic Quarter or as part of the redevelopment of Great Victoria Street station.

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