The Sixth, Royal Avenue, Belfast, Northern Ireland
An opportunity to invest in a 233,000 square feet mixed-use space offering state-of-the-art workspace, and active ground floor uses such as cafés, restaurants and retail.
Northern Ireland has one of the fastest growing technology clusters in the UK, with cyber security and fintech particular areas of strength. The scheme, adjacent to Ulster University’s new campus, is strategically located to cater to this emerging technology and creative district in Belfast city centre.
The region is also a hub for the creative industry. The majority of HBO’s epic fantasy television series Game of Thrones was filmed here, while other companies such as Universal Pictures, BBC and Disney have also chosen Northern Ireland for recent productions.
Capital investment - real estate
(Greener buildings, Real estate, Mixed use, Life sciences)
MRP and Belfast City Council
£100 million GDV
Outline planning obtained
Time to Final Investment Decision (FID):
Sector and market opportunity
The recently published “10x Economy” by the Northern Ireland Executive sets out the region’s economic growth aspirations, and there’s an emphasis on digital innovation.
Belfast is already the world’s number one location for FinTech investment. Likewise, the Northern Ireland film industry continues to grow in reputation, with Netflix and Paramount among the latest US studios to bring projects to the region.
The Sixth presents a rare opportunity to deliver a world-class commercial development which emphasises quality and heritage-led design with the capability to deliver flexibly in phases.
The workspace has the flexibility to accommodate global headquarters with floorplates of up to 30,000 square feet and would work equally well for smaller enterprises with the potential to expand.
Northern Ireland is uniquely positioned in that it’s retained tariff-free access to both the UK and European Union.
The project is located in an emerging creative district centred on education, media and technology.
The site is adjacent to the £250 million expansion of Ulster University which will add about 18,000 students and staff to the city centre, plus the proposed £100 million “Belfast Stories” project due, which is due to open in 2028.
Belfast enjoys excellent road, rail and air infrastructure across the British Isles. It’s only a one-hour flight from London, under 2 hours from Dublin by car, as well as only a couple of minutes’ drive from both the M1 and M2 motorways.
Belfast also has the highest availability of superfast broadband in the UK and the fastest direct broadband link from Europe to North America.
Local talent and skills
A strong eco system for digital innovation has already been established in the area, one that’s supported strongly by government through Catalyst - which promotes a connected innovation community throughout the region.
About 61% of all jobs in Northern Ireland are in Belfast. The country has a young and vibrant population, with 53% of the population aged under 40.
There are two world-leading universities in Belfast; over 73% of their research is deemed world leading or internationally excellent.
The area is an attractive business environment. Already, over 70% of companies choose to reinvest in Northern Ireland and it is already home to more than 1,100 international investors, including Allstate, Citi, Seagate, Spirit Aerosystems, and FinTrU.
It is an integral, uniquely positioned part of the UK and is the ideal location to grow your company. Its combination of a business-friendly environment, highly skilled workforce, quality skills pipeline, excellent infrastructure, and unique market access offer a compelling proposition for your business. Over 1,300 international companies across a range of sectors are based in Northern Ireland (NISRA, 2023). The region has a long-standing history of international trade performance, hosts globally recognised universities and offers investors unfettered access to both the UK and European Union markets.
Research and expertise
The project is a joint venture between Belfast City Council and McAleer & Rushe, an alliance created to help deliver a hub for the creative and technology sectors, one that has the capacity to cater for Grade A office demand.
The Sixth is a major redevelopment project that will bring the iconic former Belfast Telegraph building back into active use.
The scheme is a development by BelTel LLP, the first joint venture by Belfast City Council with a private developer, MRP, an alliance created to deliver well-designed hub for the education, media, technology, health and life sciences sectors in Belfast city centre.
Environmental, social and governance (ESG) highlights
The space will have multiple terraces at a higher level to encourage biodiversity and provide wellness to occupants.
The plan includes a cycle space to promote green travel as well as showers and lockers, plus a roof top running track to promote physical and mental wellbeing.
The project is also targeted a BREEAM rating of excellent and an EPC rating of A.
Promoters and partnerships
MRP is a privately owned multi-award-winning investment and development company. It is the property division of McAleer & Rushe which has operated throughout the UK & Ireland for in excess 50 years.
MRP focuses on the creation and management of ambitious and innovative schemes in high density, city centre locations, across their core sectors of office, hotel, residential, build to rent and student accommodation.
The company’s development portfolio has a total end value of around £1.5 billion of which around £350 million is currently under construction.
Local and national government support
The opportunity has close alignment with local government policies such as Programme for Government, The Belfast Agenda, and Belfast Region City Deal.
This project is in an area of the city centre that will benefit from £350 million of additional investment, which includes the new Ulster University campus and the proposed “Belfast Stories” visitor destination centre (part of Belfast Region City Deal).
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