Attractions industry news

20 Dec 2019

reefLive submits planning application for Belfast aquarium

Aquarium company reefLive says it has received an "overwhelmingly positive" level of community feedback to its plans to build a new aquarium in Belfast, for which a planning application has just been submitted to the city council.

The proposed £12m (US$15.6m, €14.1m) attraction would be situated a short distance from the Titanic Belfast visitor experience and could open its doors in Q2 2021 if approved. ReefLive said it expects to attract more than 300,000 visitors per year.

Keith Thomas, managing director of reefLive, commented: "The proposal to bring a new aquarium to Belfast has attracted strong levels of support from the community and has bolstered our confidence in the decision to open the first reefLive Aquarium in Northern Ireland.

"Feedback received both at the public exhibition and via the project's website shows strong public support for an aquarium, which will showcase some of the best marine environments worldwide, including around the Irish coast."

ReefLive has announced its partners on the project. They include Ethos Design & Architecture, which has designed the exterior building and an aquarium design team led by Kay Elliott Architects which has devised the interior. Project planning consultant is Turley.

The company also revealed that the aquarium, should it receive the go-ahead, will not display any aquatic mammals or large, open sea shark species, as it believes the needs of these cannot be met adequately in a captive environment. Instead, their stories will be told through digital technology.

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