Former Belfast nightclub could turn into STEM education centre

  • Belfast City Council has received plans to turn the former Beach nightclub inside the Odyssey Pavilion into a digital learning centre.

    Submitted by planning agency Turley on behalf of The Odyssey Property Company, this application is the third project put forward since a £17m redevelopment of The Odyssey was announced earlier this month.

    The developers have so far declined to provide any further details on the proposed digital learning centre, although it is anticipated that it will help address a shortage of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) graduates.

    The proposal to change the ground floor unit includes plans for storage and ancillary office space.

    A letter sent by Turley to the planning department said the digital learning centre "represents a significant investment by the Odyssey Property Company to support the government's Industrial Strategy to encourage more young people to consider STEM careers".

    It added: "By way of background, Ulster University Economic Policy Centre (UUEPC) was commissioned by Belfast City Council to report on the future skill needs of the Belfast City Council area.

    "The study - published in January 2019 - found that a relatively high proportion of graduates in Higher Education (HE) are in narrow and unspecialised subjects, and STEM shortages are evident.”

    The learning centre would tie into the plans for the Odyssey Trust Company’s plans to turn the complex from a “student led destination to now being fully family focused”, as previously stated. It would also co-ordinate with the £4.5m transformation of The Odyssey’s W5 science and discovery centre.

    All of the previous nightclubs which resided in The Odyssey are now closed along with the Beach club, including Bar Seven and Box nightclub.

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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