NAMA providing stg£15m funding to landmark Belfast office development

  • Project to generate substantial employment during construction phase, NAMA Chairman tells Northern Ireland Assembly and Business Trust delegation
  •  NAMA committed to providing further funding to NI projects that can deliver a commercial return
  •  Agency has already approved stg£123m in funding to Northern Ireland-based debtors

 Wednesday 19th June 2013 – The National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) is providing stg£15m (€18m) in funding to complete a landmark office development in Belfast as part of its ongoing investment programme to enhance the value of its assets in Northern Ireland, the Agency’s Chairman said today.

Addressing a visiting delegation from the Northern Ireland Assembly and Business Trust (NIABT) in Dublin, NAMA Chairman Frank Daly said the Agency is financing the completion of two buildings at Lanyon Place, a high-profile office and leisure complex whose existing buildings include the Waterfront Hall conference and entertainment venue.

The buildings whose completion is being funded by NAMA are:

  • Lanyon Plaza, a c100,000 sq ft office building with a fully glazed façade and large floor plates to suit the accommodation needs of large occupiers; and  
  • The Soloist Building, a c90,000 sq ft office building designed by renowned Norwegian architect Neils Torp.

Work on these buildings had been on hold in recent years as a result of market conditions.

 Mr Daly said the project will generate substantial employment in local companies during the construction and fit-out phase and that the two buildings, when fully occupied, will accommodate approximately 1,750 people.

“The Agency is committed to providing more funding to debtors based in Northern Ireland in addition to the stg£123 million (€144 million) we have already approved,” said Mr Daly.

“We would urge debtors to share their proposals with us, as we want to fund projects that can deliver a strong commercial return”.

 In addition to his role as NAMA Chairman, Mr Daly is also Chairman of NAMA’s Northern Ireland Advisory Committee, a dedicated committee set up to advise the Agency on matters specifically relating to Northern Ireland. This committee includes senior NAMA directors and executives, as well as external members drawn from the Northern Ireland business community.

Mr Daly said the Agency appreciates the opportunity to update the NIABT on its progress. The relationship with the NIABT provides a valuable forum for the business community and elected representatives from the NI Assembly to interact and build clarity and understanding regarding the Agency’s role in Northern Ireland, he said.

 Mr Daly also said the Agency:

  • has engaged with agencies such as Invest NI and professional and representative bodies, with a view to making NAMA vendor finance available for commercial property transactions in Northern Ireland;
  • is also engaging with Invest NI in relation to assets that may be suitable for industrial parks for indigenous and FDI clients in Northern Ireland;
  • has approved £87 million in asset sales in Northern Ireland from inception to end March 2013;
  • recently announced plans to provide stg£9 million  to fund a 95-unit housing development in Millmount, Dundonald, close to Belfast and is reviewing other opportunities;
  • remains keen to contribute, where commercially feasible, in the delivery of social housing in Northern Ireland.

 “Examples of our social housing initiatives include our work with Clanmill Housing Association, to whom we have provided an option on the purchase of the Hilden Mills site near Lisburn for affordable housing,” said Mr Daly.

“We have also sold a site in Co Down for social housing and are working with the Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations and its members to assist with the Social Housing Development Programme in Northern Ireland.”

Editors’ note:

The Northern Ireland Assembly and Business Trust (NIABT) is an independent, neutral educational organisation set up to offer politicians and businesses in Northern Ireland an opportunity to share their knowledge and experience.