Kainos: Movie House demolition to proceed but firm re-examining HQ design

By John Campbell
BBC News NI Economics & Business Editor

image copyrightPacemaker
image captionKainos bought the Movie House cinema on Belfast's Dublin Road earlier this year as a site for its headquarters project

The demolition phase of Belfast IT firm Kainos' headquarters project will happen this year, the company has said.

Kainos bought the Movie House cinema on the city's Dublin Road earlier this year as a site for the project.

It is deferring the construction phase as a result of the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

Chief Executive Brendan Mooney said the design of the project needed to be re-examined in light of how coronavirus could change office work.

"We need to think about how we provide the safest office accommodation," he said.

"Does that mean we need more space to deal with social distancing? That has a planning implication."


He also said the project would need to be looked at in the context of more staff working from home.

The company's entire workforce of about 1,700 has been working from home during the crisis.

"Their feedback is that they want to see more working from home going forward," said Mr Mooney.

"I think five days a week is probably not what people have in mind so we need to be able to work out how to support colleagues who want to blend working from home and from the office."

Mr Mooney also suggested the company was open to working with a property development partner on the scheme.

He said the company was a "reluctant" property owner and had embarked on the new development because there was a lack of suitable space to lease in Belfast.

"In this uncertain time, do we want to fund that building ourselves or should we look for a different kind of model?" he asked.

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