LOCATED on the Duncairn Gardens and North Queen Street interface between the neighbouring New Lodge and Tiger’s Bay communities, North City Business Centre was set up as a purpose-built business park.
North City is all about encouraging the development of small and medium businesses in the surrounding community, creating employment and providing focus for the social and economic regeneration of North Belfast.
Since being built in 1996, North City have been responsible for the development of hundreds of solid businesses in and around the various communities of North Belfast.
Office Manager Sarah Smith explained: “North City Business Centre was purpose-built in an area of social need and really something that was badly needed.
“Our main purpose is working with people to set up their own self-employment business. We do this through things like the ‘Go For It’ business programme in conjunction with Belfast City Council as well as helping clients to set up their own business plan.
“We also offer training on things like social media and marketing. We have 47 units on site which we rent out which in turn helps tenants create employment in the local area.
“North City Business Centre is a charity and we do not make any profit. Money from rent of premises goes back into the community for employability programmes or advice to help people manage their businesses. We have the perfect location – a neutral space in North Belfast. We have everything right here for businesses: close to city centre and no extreme costs for rent and parking for new business owners.”
Chief Executive Dave Murphy has just moved into his role but is already planning for the future.
“North Belfast is faced with a number of challenges and a range of social determents such as unemployment, education levels, disability and ill-health,” he explained.
“Close to 1,000 jobs have been created in an area of high social need and unemployment thanks to North City.
“I believe the community aspect of the organisation is key. We are looking to engage with businesses to help people grow in both sides of the community and develop their business. Many businesses use us as a starting point so they tend to stay and grow until they get too big and branch out across the city.
“As for the future, we have just received planning permission for a really exciting project to develop a new four-storey building to face outwards on to North Queen Street.
“It will be a 30,000 square feet site to increase the level of space we have on site and to do it in a modern way.
“We also face challenges with austerity and economic inactivity and our job is to develop more programmes to help people with unemployment as well as to develop further opportunities and support for businesses.”
If you’d like to know more, contact North City Business Centre for all your business needs – including business support and programmes, affordable commercial property, virtual office facilities, conference facilities and meeting space.
North City Business Centre,
2 Duncairn Gardens,