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Wed June 23 2021

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Gilbert-Ash wins £14m Merchant Square fit-out

16 Dec 20 Gilbert-Ash has started a £14m fit-out on Belfast’s Merchant Square office development.

Ray Hutchinson, managing director of Gilbert-Ash, stands in front of Merchant Square
Ray Hutchinson, managing director of Gilbert-Ash, stands in front of Merchant Square

Merchant Square has been created by the amalgamation of the former Oyster and Royston buildings next to Belfast City Hall.

Main contractor Felix O’Hare started enabling works for the build back in May 2018 after McCormack Demolition had completed the strip-out works.

Now Gilbert-Ash is in to create 200,000 sq ft of Grade A office space over nine floors, which will be occupied by accountancy firm PwC in what is described as Belfast’s biggest ever private-sector office letting deal.

Gilbert-Ash managing director Ray Hutchinson said: “It is always great to be working on a landmark building in our home city of Belfast, but this is extra special as Merchant Square really will be a leader on the international stage. We have been working with excellent local partners to bring this stand out fit-out project to life, with advanced logistical planning and management during what has been a challenging year for many industries, including construction.

“Earlier this year we completed our new £5m headquarters at Boucher Place in the city, which was a very proud moment for Gilbert-Ash, and it is a privilege to follow it up with this project which has the power to be transformative for the city, in terms of helping to position Belfast on a global stage as a centre of innovation.”

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PwC will be anchor tenant of Merchant Square
PwC will be anchor tenant of Merchant Square

He added: “The designs for Merchant Square are a celebration of Belfast’s industrial and linen heritage as well as a number of Northern Ireland’s most iconic landmarks, such as the Harland & Wolff cranes. The themes running throughout the building will give nods to the city’s ship building and aviation industries as well as Belfast’s history as a centre of the linen industry.

“The building will also reflect the geography of Belfast with the River Lagan and Botanic Gardens incorporated into designs.

“This will be a building which will help foster an excellent working environment and help inspire and attract the best people to work in Belfast.”

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