Business

Rooftop running track part of £75m revamp of former Belfast newspaper office

A rooftop running track is part of plans for the £75m refurbishment of the former Belfast Telegraph building

THE £75 million regeneration of the former Belfast Telegraph building will include the city's first rooftop running track.

Plans have now been submitted to transform the iconic listed building into a commercial, retail and leisure complex capable of delivering 2,000 high-end jobs.

Subject to planning approval it is hoped that work on The Sixth could begin on site later this year.

The proposals include the restoration and refurbishment of the 1886 'Seaver building' - the former headquarters of the daily newspaper and the development of the remainder of the site into a contemporary, mixed use new build scheme.

A total of 230,000 sq ft of workspace is proposed across seven floors, with a public atrium and walkway on the ground floor, alongside retail and food and beverage uses.

The pioneering office development also features Belfast’s first roof top running track, as well as roof top terraces and break out spaces.

Stephen Surphlis of Bel Tel LLP said a focus on user wellness and wellbeing is at the core of the building’s design.

“Offices and workspace are evolving and UK and international companies are looking to Belfast and the wealth of talent we have on tap from our universities and within our professional, creative and technology sectors. These firms are placing a premium on employee satisfaction and are seeking working environments that facilitate team interaction, innovation and creativity. Our plans for The Sixth emphasise quality, heritage-led design that makes a contribution to both user wellbeing, and the fabric of our city."

Award-winning London-based architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) are engaged on the design and founding director, Paul Monaghan described The Sixth as a "bold project" focused on preserving the building's rich history .

"We have taken cues from the surrounding buildings and the city’s lost Victorian arcades, and will restore features removed or lost from the original listed building. For example, we’re planning to reinstate the building’s main access onto Royal Avenue and re-introduce dormer windows removed from the original roofline, " he said.

“New features such as the roof top running track, roof top terraces and break out spaces compliment the building’s focus on the user. A new public atrium space serves as walkway through the building, which alongside a range of ground floor retail and food and beverage offers will enliven the street level space around Royal Avenue and Donegall Street. The Sixth will contribute to the rapid regeneration of the area and with its close proximity to Ulster University; it will be at the centre of an emerging creative district serving the education, culture, media and technology sectors."

Deputy chair of Belfast City Council's city growth and regeneration committee, Aileen Graham said the new development will "breathe new life into one one of Belfast's most loved and iconic buildings".

"Quality, innovative workspace like The Sixth will attract the high-value jobs necessary to grow our economy and help our people reach their full potential," she added.

The Sixth’s project name was inspired by “Sixth Late Tele”, the call of the newspaper’s street vendors when selling the evening edition.

The £75 Sixth development at the former Belfast Telegraph building

Computer-generated images of The Sixth at the former Belfast Telegraph building

 

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