Plan to build £10m aquarium in Belfast unveiled

By Clodagh Rice
BBC News NI Business Correspondent

An artistic impression of the proposed aquariumImage source, ReefLIVE Ltd
Image caption,
An artistic impression of the proposed aquarium on Queen's Road

Plans for a £10m aquarium in Belfast's Titanic Quarter have been unveiled.

ReefLIVE Ltd plans to build the project on Queen's Road, near Titanic Belfast. The firm said it expects to attract more than 300,000 people each year.

The building will be designed by Ethos Architects and, subject to planning approval, the aquarium will open in 2021.

A consultation event will be held next month, with a view to submitting a planning application in October.

A spokesperson for ReefLIVE Ltd said: "Belfast has become one of the UK's leading hubs for such family friendly experiences and we see the city as a thriving tourism destination.

"We are confident in our decision to choose Belfast over other top UK cities for our first investment of this kind," they added.

The Belfast aquarium will be the company's first project.

ReefLIVE was set up last year, its managers have years of experience working on similar projects across the UK and Europe.

Image source, ReefLIVE Ltd
Image caption,
The developers aim to submit their planning application in October

Planning consultants Turley are also involved in bringing the project to Belfast.

"Turley is very excited to be part of this innovative project and we look forward to seeing the ReefLIVE aquarium situated in the great company of neighbouring attractions as a best-in-class education landmark," said director Brian Kelly.

"This substantial investment will support the ongoing development of the area as a distinguished tourism destination," he added.