Newry firm secures £11m refurbishment contract for Belfast's River House

Newry firm Mac-group has secured an £11 million contract to refurbish River House in Belfast into grade A office space
Gareth McKeown

A NEWRY-based construction firm has secured an £11 million contract to refurbish Belfast's River House into premium grade A office space.

Mac-group, a specialist in the construction, refurbishment and fit-out of office space and commercial buildings, will transform the 14-storey office block on High Street, supporting 160 jobs for the duration of the project.

Owned by London-based developer Castleforge Partners, River House is to be turned into 90,000 sq ft of retail and top-end office space.

Construction work being carried out includes internal core demolition, structural reinforcements, new seamless glass curtain walling, high speed lifts, double height reception areas and new raised floors and ceilings.

Meanwhile the fit out has already begun by mac-interiors, the specialist interiors division of mac-group and is set to be completed in May next year.

In a first for Northern Ireland, five floors of River House will be dedicated to SME and start-up businesses. The Clockwise concept aims to support start-ups and medium-sized businesses by offering meeting rooms, hot desks and shared working space. As companies grow, they can then let additional office space within the building.The idea has proved hugely successful in other parts of the UK, having recently being introduced at Glasgow's Savoy Tower, which is also owned by Castleforge Partners.

Brendan Moley, interiors director of mac-group said the project is a "major vote of confidence" in the Belfast market.

"Traditionally, a small percentage of our work has been in Northern Ireland but we are seeing a real buzz and upturn in confidence in Belfast. We have secured some significant contracts for the next 18 months in Belfast and there is no sign of work slowing down.”

Established in 2002, Mac-group works across the UK and Ireland, with offices in Newry, Dublin, London and Birmingham.

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