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Belfast Waterfront extension to put city "on global stage"

MD says £30m extension will be a "renaissance" for the Northern Irish capital

Pictured left to right: David Boyce (Tourism Ireland), Geoff Fenlon (Belfast Waterfront), Sheila Geary (Visit Belfast) and Willie Lougheed (Tourism Northern Ireland)

The newly-extended Belfast Waterfront will put the city on the global stage, according to the venue’s MD.
Belfast Waterfront welcomed 150 conference organisers, event planners and meetings professionals for an exclusive preview of the soon to be completed 7,000 sqm facility. 
Interim MD Geoff Fenlon said: “When the Waterfront opened, almost 20 years ago, the building symbolised and acted as a catalyst for the renaissance of Belfast. What I believe we’re now doing is the second renaissance for Belfast.
“The first put Belfast on the stage as a European city. The second renaissance will put us on the global stage.
Event professionals from the UK and Ireland enjoyed a spectacular programme showcasing the remodelled facility, which will reopen in May following a £29.5 million investment by Belfast City Council (£11 million), the European Regional Development Fund, through the EU Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland (£13.3m), and Tourism Northern Ireland (£5.2m).
Fenlon added: "We promised the new Belfast Waterfront would deliver a brand new experience for up to 5,000 delegates. Today’s preview proved that we can deliver on our promise and left guests in no doubt that Belfast Waterfront is a leading conference and entertainment venue and has both the capacity and capability of hosting many larger international events."
Once opened the new Belfast Waterfront is expected to attract 55,000 conference delegates per year and bring in £100m to Belfast by 2020.
So far, more than 30 international and national events have been confirmed for the Waterfront over the next three years. Big names to already sign on the dotted line include the BBC Good Food Show (14-16 October 2016), the World Credit Union (17-20 July 2016) and the Royal College of Nursing (May 2018).
The first conference in the new Belfast Waterfront, the annual International Surgical Congress of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland (ASGBI), will attract 2,000 delegates generating £2.2m for Belfast through bed nights, transportation and other visitor spends. 

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