Northern Ireland news

Landmark office building reopens after multimillion-pound refurbishment

BT programme director Sue Glew with employees outside the newly refurbished Riverside Tower (Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA)
Claudia Savage, PA

A landmark Belfast city centre office building has reopened following a multimillion-pound refurbishment.

The Riverside Tower building at Lanyon Place houses over 2,000 employees of BT Group.

The new building boasts state-of-the-art technology and marks Belfast as a significant long-term location for the communication company.

Northern Ireland Secretary of State Chris Heaton Harris said: “This is great news, with BT Group's significant investment in its Belfast base showing just what an attractive place for business Northern Ireland is.

“BT's fantastic new office will provide a boost for the local economy, creating jobs and increasing footfall in the city centre.”

Brent Matthews, BT Group's property and facilities services director, said: “As a major employer in the city, our presence will support local economic growth and employment opportunities.

“We recently announced plans to recruit 100 people into digital roles, such as artificial intelligence (AI), as well as graduates and apprentice roles.”

The rejuvenation of Riverside Tower comes as part of the company's better workplace programme.

Programme director Sue Glew said: “This is such a perfect location and an iconic building, the Riverside Tower.”

In an era of increased remote working, Ms Glew stressed the value of such a large investment into office space.

“Here we felt the size was perfect. We haven't wavered from the investment. We think now with this lovely physical environment with a focus on what colleagues want and need, we've got more chance of enticing colleagues to come in.”

The benefits of the investment at Riverside Tower is predicted to extend beyond BT, with Paul Murnaghan, the regional sales director for NI, saying: “I often say that Northern Ireland is very important to BT but today BT is very important to Northern Ireland.

“It's not just about our colleagues, it's also about all of the external stakeholders, customers, public and private utilising this facility that is now here for us, but also for them.”

BT Group is responsible for directly generating £1 in every £110 produced in Northern Ireland, according to an independent report from consultancy firm Hatch.

Northern Ireland news