Cathedral Quarter – a place of innovation

“Innovation districts represent a profound, structural shift in the physical landscape of work and living. They are both competitive places and “cool” spaces, embodying the very raison d’être of cities: to aggregate talented, driven people who exchange ideas and knowledge in what the urban historian Sir Peter Hall calls “a dynamic process of innovation, imitation and improvement.” (Bruce Katz, Big Idea 2014: Goodbye Silicon Valley, Hello Silicon Cities)

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A vibrant business community

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    Home to 450 businesses employing over 4000 people

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    Largest employment sectors are creative industries, education and hospitality

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    The majority of businesses in the area are SMEs - 83% have an annual turnover of less than £1m and 71% employ less than 10 people

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Home to a blossoming creative and digital industry cluster

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    One in four businesses are in the arts, culture and creative industries sector

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    700 people employed in the creative industries

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    100s volunteering each year to assist in cultural production, outreach and management

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    Substantial levels of creative production – visual arts, music, theatre, dance, digital media, games and more

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    Many award-winning businesses

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Start-ups and entrepreneurial spirit

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    A welcoming place for new and young businesses, characterised by neighbourliness

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    Supportive accommodation options including co-working spaces, short-term rent options

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    Ulster University’s Office of Innovation part of the University development

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    Invest NI’s Propel programme for supporting high growth start-ups delivered in Cathedral Quarter

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    Local government investing in development of Creative Hub in Cathedral Quarter

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A connected community

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    High quality broadband - further investment via the Super-Connected City programme

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    A walkable, bikeable area, well served by public transport

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    Accessible to everywhere in the city centre

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    A 30 minute bike ride to anywhere in the city

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    Two hours from Dublin by road or train

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    Ten minutes from Belfast City airport and thirty minutes from Belfast International Airport, with direct flights to UK, Europe and North America

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A place of cultural consumption as well as creative production

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    A historic cultural quarter generously served by performance venues, galleries, year round festivals, bars, cafes and restaurants

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    Home of Belfast’s arts centre, The MAC, which delivers a dynamic programme of theatre, dance, music, and visual arts, learning and participation

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    A welcoming place dotted with public spaces – St Anne’s Square, Custom House Square, Writer’s Square, Cathedral Gardens – that are animated by great cultural events

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    A destination for tourists and locals alike

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Opportunities for investment and development

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    Commercial rent levels are moving upwards.

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    Vacancies in a range of office accommodation options

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    Multiple opportunities for developing office space in and around Cathedral Quarter

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    Competitive land and construction costs

Learning and participation

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    Home to the Ulster University’s Belfast campus

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    Currently one thousand students but growing to 15,000 students and staff by 2018

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    Huge variety of courses and workshops for all ages delivered by cultural organisations