Attractions industry news

25 Jul 2019

£10m aquarium development expected to be major tourist draw for Belfast

Proposals for a new £10m (US$12.48m, €11.21m) ReefLIVE aquarium in Belfast's Titanic Quarter are to be put forward for approval, with hopes that the attraction will draw more than 300,000 visitors per year.

Designed by Ethos Design and Architecture, and with planning by consultants Turley, the aquarium would be situated opposite the Titanic Hotel on Queen's Road, which is a short distance from the Titanic Belfast museum.

ReefLIVE, a UK company for which this is the first such project, said that Northern Island was chosen as the site of the aquarium because of rising public interest in marine life and the environmental issues facing species and habitats off the shores of Britain and Ireland, as well as worldwide.

"ReefLIVE's Belfast Aquarium has been designed as an aquarium for the 21st century and will place the visitor at the heart of the marine environment to give them a unique insight into the amazing stories of life beneath the waves," said a spokesperson for ReefLIVE.

"As part of our work, establishing solid partnerships with educational institutions will be of utmost importance to us at all phases of the facility's programme development."

The team behind the project are planning to hold a pre-application community consultation on 20 August at the Titanic Hotel in Belfast, after which, it's expected that a planning application will be submitted to the city council early in October 2019. All being well, it's hoped that the aquarium will open in Q1 2021.

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