Kings Hall health park 'will boost economy by £47m a year'

An artist's impression of the new King's Hall health hub
An artist's impression of the new King's Hall health hub An artist's impression of the new King's Hall health hub

THE proposed Kings Hall Health and Wellbeing Park will boost the Northern Ireland economy by £47 million a year and support 640 full time equivalent jobs, while also improving access to services for patients, according to an economic impact assessment of the proposed new development.

The primary care complex, residential care, independent living and hotel proposed for the site, which is recommended for approval to Belfast City Council on Tuesday, will also support a further 320 indirect jobs, research carried out on behalf of developers Benmore Octopus found.

It estimated that new residents in the proposed independent living units on the site would contribute £260,000 a year to the local economy while the uplift in visitor expenditure from overnight stays in the hotel will offer a £2.9m boost.

Meanwhile, the economy will receive a boost of £60m in gross value-added terms during the 10-year construction phase of the build, supporting 60 full-time equivalent construction jobs and a further 30 indirect construction jobs on a full-time equivalent basis.

Total investment in the refurbishment of the existing building and construction of new properties will reach £88.5m, the research has shown.

The proposed development will see the iconic Kings Hall building – which has lain vacant since 2013 – and surrounding site transformed into the most innovative health and wellbeing hub in the UK.

The redevelopment and refurbishment of the listed King's Hall will also provide a significant heritage gain for south Belfast.

A GP hub is proposed for the Kings Hall where the co-location of up to 32 GPs and other trust-led primary care services can be accommodated.

The extended Kings Hall site - formerly the Balmoral showgrounds - will also include care for the elderly and assisted living accommodation, a mixed-use medical facility, a 150-room hotel and a multi-storey car park.

David Burrows, a director at Benmore Octopus, said: “We are delighted our scheme will protect and enhance the iconic King's Hall building and help rejuvenate health care provision in this part of the city.

"In addition, the latest research shows the Kings Hall Health and Wellbeing Park will offer a significant boost to the economy, both in the surrounding area and further afield, by creating jobs and increasing expenditure in the locality.”