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24th Jul 2019 in Business

The utility infrastructure in Royal Avenue and the surrounding area of Belfast City Centre is set to receive a boost this month with the commencement of a £500,000 investment project by Northern Ireland Electricity Networks (NIE Networks). 

The upgrade project, which is part of NIE Networks’ ongoing investment plan in the network across Northern Ireland, will see the replacement of 3,000 metres of underground cable ensuring business and domestic customers in the area have a continued reliable electricity supply.

The three month project was scheduled for earlier in 2019 but the fire at Bank Buildings meant the project had to be delayed. The work which has been approved and supported by the Department of Infrastructure and leading business organisations in the area, consists of three phases of implementation, with work commencing on 22nd July 2019. 

David Tompsett, Project Delivery Engineer for NIE Networks, said: “Delivering a high standard of service for all our customers is very important to us and we are delighted this critical project can now get underway. Our investment will involve the replacement and upgrade of older cables and ensure the continued resilience of the electricity infrastructure in this area of Belfast City Centre.

“We have been working in partnership with the Department of Infrastructure, Belfast City Centre Management, Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District and Translink to make sure the impact on businesses and city centre users is kept to a minimum.” 

David Tompsett NIE Networks and Gareth Neill Cathedral Quarter BID

The first phase of work will focus on the junction of Royal Avenue, York Street and North Street. The second phase will start on 29 July on Royal Avenue towards Dunbar Link and the third phase will start during September  running from North Street to Peter’s Hill. All work will be completed by 31st October 2019. 

No interruptions to electricity supplies are planned and each phase will be completed before moving to the next to help minimise the impact to businesses, traffic flow and shoppers in the City Centre. 

Gareth Neill, BID Manager at Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District welcomed the announcement from NIE Networks: “The business community recognises the importance of this much needed infrastructure upgrade and welcomes NIE Networks’ commitment in bringing this work forward. The project will ensure there are continued opportunities to invest and grow in this vibrant part of the City.”  

Geraldine Duggan, City Centre Manager for Belfast City Centre Management, added: “Belfast City Centre Management is very pleased that NIE Networks has announced they will be upgrading the network in the Cathedral Quarter area of the city centre, the investment will be a great benefit for local businesses. Belfast City Centre Management and Destination CQ will continue to work alongside the team at NIE Networks to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum for the duration of the works.”

Work will take place during and outside of normal working hours depending on the phase of the project. There may be restricted access at certain times and commuters may experience some traffic delays. Full project details, access restrictions and traffic management plans can be found at www.nienetworks.co.uk/belfast  

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