Translink, Northern Ireland’s public transport provider, has selected developer MRP as its Private Sector Partner for Belfast’s transformational Weavers Cross development.

As the appointed master-development partner, MRP will deliver the Weavers Cross development with the potential for 1.3 million square feet of mixed-use office, life sciences, residential, student housing, hotels and retail/leisure space, presenting a unique opportunity to transform and regenerate a current brownfield site and create a new destination in the heart of the city.

The development sits alongside the new Belfast Grand Central Station– a NI Executive flagship Project – which is the key catalyst for Weavers Cross, a transport led regeneration project located in the heart of the city.  With construction of the station well underway, Belfast Grand Central Station is set to be the island of Ireland’s largest integrated, sustainable transport hub with direct bus, coach, and train links throughout Northern Ireland, connections to all major international airports and to Dublin, and is due to open in 2025.

The station is the catalyst for the wider regeneration of the Weavers Cross site which has a gross development value of £500 million with MRP now officially appointed to lead on delivery of the private sector investment.

MRP – one of the UK and Ireland’s leading property development and investment firms specialising in multi-sector, mixed use schemes – is the developer behind The Ewart, the new £85m iconic office building in Belfast’s Bedford Street. The developer has a strong pipeline of projects in key cities across the UK, including City Square House, a 140,000 sq ft landmark office soon to complete in Leeds city centre, and most recently acquired the prime London regeneration site, Liberty House in Kensington Olympia. It has a successful track record with over 50 years of experience in delivering sustainable, high quality city centre development and regeneration projects, many of which are high-profile schemes across both the public and private sectors.

Transport hubs, like Belfast Grand Central Station, are increasingly the focal points of towns and cities and centres of economic activity. Weavers Cross has already obtained Outline Planning Permission from Belfast City Council and when constructed, it is estimated that it will stimulate over £1 billion of additional spending in the Northern Ireland economy and offer a wide range of opportunities to both investors and occupiers alike.

Chris Conway, Group Chief Executive, Translink, said:

“We are delighted to partner with MRP on this major regeneration project which will bring significant benefits to Belfast and Northern Ireland.  This is the most significant transport led development project in NI and MRP shares our vision for regeneration and placemaking to deliver tangible and lasting positive social, economic and environmental benefits.

“The international connectivity which the transport hub will bring, along with an imaginative mixed-use development will create an exciting new city centre neighbourhood that will be a catalyst for economic growth. It will also drive a modal shift to public transport and will play a major role in helping achieve the carbon emission reduction targets set out in the NI Climate Change Act.

 “We look forward to progressing this scheme and thank all those who have taken part in the process for their effort and professionalism.”

Welcoming the appointment, Stephen Surphlis, Managing Director of MRP said:

“We are immensely proud to have been appointed as the master-development partner for Weavers Cross, a very significant project for Belfast’s connectivity and economic prosperity. Developing the site requires an experienced and creative team that has at its core the strong social value credentials required to deliver on this ambitious project and we are delighted to have been chosen as that team.

“The vision for Weavers Cross is a bold one, marrying world-class urban design that incorporates the very latest sustainable practices to create a new neighbourhood for Belfast that will impact positively on all of Northern Ireland. 

“We are looking forward to commencing this partnership with Translink and engaging with the community and interested parties to make this development a reality, unlocking the project’s huge potential and helping to regenerate the local area.”

Joe Kennedy, US Special Envoy for Northern Ireland who recently visited the site, said:

“The new surrounding city neighbourhood ‘Weavers Cross’ will bring circa 1.3 million square feet of mixed-use space to a strategic location in the city. It will be a catalyst for employment and innovation which will deliver on the Department for Economy’s 10X Economy Strategy.”