Northern Ireland

Belfast: Kainos software firm buys Movie House cinema site

Movie house
Image caption The cinema is due to close at the end of May

Belfast-based software company Kainos has bought the Bankmore Square site, which is currently home to the Movie House Cinema in the city centre, for more than £7m.

It plans to turn it into its new Belfast headquarters.

The cinema is due to close its doors at the end of May after 12 years operating at the site.

Movie House managing director Michael McAdam said closing was "a difficult decision" made with "a heavy heart".

"Recently we've seen a big shift in cinema attendance out of Belfast city centre to suburban cinemas, which offer free parking," he said.

"It was a very difficult decision whether to sell or reinvest in the site."

Mr McAdam said his company hoped to be in a position to offers jobs to the cinema's 33 full and part-time staff members.

Additional capacity

The Dublin Road site has planning permission for a 250,000 square foot Grade A office building.

Kainos plans to submit a revised planning application.

It currently employs more than 1,400 people across 12 offices in Europe, the US and Canada.

It plans to move into Bankmore Square in Spring 2021.

Brendan Mooney, chief executive, said: "As well as the additional capacity that the office will bring, this investment, and the location of our new HQ, signals our commitment to retaining and attracting the best staff."

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