Tech-inspired Belfast aquarium gains planning permission approval

  • Belfast City Council approved plans two days ago to develop a £12m state-of-the-art aquarium in Titanic Quarter, Belfast.

    The decision was made at the council’s planning committee meeting, and the new attraction will be located on the Queen’s Road opposite the Titanic Hotel.

    Keith Thomas, managing director at reefLIVE Ltd, which is creating the aquarium commented: “We are thrilled with Belfast City Council’s decision to approve our aquarium which has received a tremendous amount of public support since its original announcement last year.

    “Our commitment to building our first reefLIVE aquarium in Belfast is testament to the city’s track record for tourism excellence and an unwavering confidence that sustained investment in Northern Ireland’s tourism and leisure sector will prove vital for the region’s recovery in a post-Covid world.”

    The reefLIVE aquarium will create 50 new jobs once operational, as well as construction jobs and apprenticeships. The company expects it to attract more than 300,000 visitors each year when it opens its doors in 2022.

    It will blend live, virtual and augmented reality exhibitions, and all species are to be ethically sourced.

    reefLIVE said it will not display any Cetaceans or large pelagic shark species due to the team’s “deeply held belief that the needs of these species cannot be met adequately in a captive environment.”

    Keith Thomas continued: “The reefLIVE Aquarium Belfast will respond to huge public interest in the marine environment, the wonderful creatures that live there and the pressures on their habitats, communicating a strong and inspiring conservation message and showing how we can all make a positive difference.

    “Combining stunning aquariums and a full range of cutting-edge digital technologies, we’ll tell their stories and create a stunning and immersive visitor experience.”

    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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