Secretary of State, Peter Hain MP, today officially opened Invest Northern Ireland’s new headquarters in Belfast’s Bedford Street.
The new building will house staff from three separate locations, enabling Invest NI to deliver its support and services to the local business community in a more streamlined and responsive manner.
Speaking at the opening, Mr Hain said: “This new building offers a cost-effective and efficient ‘Fit for Purpose’ accommodation option for Invest Northern Ireland. It will facilitate close co-operation among client companies, stakeholders and the organisation, adding value to existing services.”
The modern and highly functional, open-plan working environment, based in the heart of Belfast’s financial and commercial centre, marks the physical integration of staff previously located in Lisburn, Galwally and Goodwood House in Belfast.
Mr Hain said: “In addition, its location will provide Invest NI with ready access to decision makers, financial institutions and other government departments – many of whom have headquarters offices based in the vicinity. This will assist Invest NI as it continues to forge partnerships which will ultimately accelerate Northern Ireland’s economic growth.”
Constructed as part of a Public Private Partnership and is the first to be supported by the Strategic Investment Board. The project has been hailed as the fastest and most efficient accommodation procurement project delivered through PPP in the UK and will deliver projected savings of £10 million in running costs.
Mr Hain added: “Following one of the fastest PPP accommodation procurement processes achieved across the whole of the UK, it is a striking example of how infrastructure investment and reform can be successfully obtained by bringing together the public and private sectors and ensuring that the time taken between decision and delivery is minimised.”
The opening of the Invest NI Headquarters building marks the end of an 18 month design and build project which commenced in April 2004 with the announcement of locally based consortium MRDE as the preferred developers. Invest NI staff began transferring to the new building in October 2005 and will occupy the lower eight floors of the 13 storey building.