reefLIVE submits planning application for Titanic Quarter aquarium

Planning permission has now been submitted for the new state-of-the-art reefLIVE Aquarium in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter.

reefLIVE Ltd., the aquarium company responsible for the project, has now submitted a planning application for the £12 million project, having completed the pre-application community consultation. The interior of the building has been devised by a leading team of aquarium designers, with Kay Elliot Architects at the helm. The exterior has been designed by Ethos Architects.

The plans, submitted to Belfast City Council, propose the development of a state-of-the-art aquarium attraction. This will be located on the Queen’s Road in Belfast, opposite the Titanic Hotel and close to Titanic Belfast.

reefLIVE Aquarium coming in Spring 2021

The reefLIVE Aquarium aims to open its doors in spring 2021 and is expected to cater to over 300,000 visitors every year.  

reeflive aquarium belfast

“We are extremely excited to see the reefLIVE Aquarium plans being submitted to the Belfast City Council,” says Keith Thomas, Managing Director, reefLIVE Ltd. “[We] hope to see the application progress swiftly through the decision-making process to allow us to begin construction of this immersive visitor experience.”

Belfast City Council’s planning committee will now review the application. The project has a great deal of public and local community support, following a public consultation, and has received a high level of positive feedback.

Over 100 people engaged with the project by submitting comments either by post, email or at the public exhibition event. In addition to this, the campaign to promote the new aquarium reached over 32,000 people through social media.

Strong community support

“The proposal to bring a new Aquarium to Belfast has attracted strong levels of support from the community and has bolstered our confidence in the decision to open the first reefLIVE Aquarium in Northern Ireland,” adds Thomas. “Feedback received both at the public exhibition and via the project website shows strong public support for an aquarium which will showcase some of the best marine environments worldwide, including around the Irish coast.”

reefLIVE aquarium consultation Belfast

The reefLIVE Aquarium is expected to be the largest marine-life visitor attraction on the island of Ireland. The project will add another international-standard attraction to the Titanic Quarter, boosting the amount of time tourists spend in the city. 

“As we eagerly await the committee’s resolution, we are committed to continuing engagement with Northern Ireland’s vibrant tourism industry to establish solid connections which will support reefLIVE’s long-term ambitions to deliver growth for the region’s leisure and tourism sector.”

Brian Kelly is a director at the project’s planning consultants, Turley. He says: 

“It has been fantastic to witness the public’s support for the introduction of a state-of-the-art aquarium to Belfast. We look forward to progressing this application through to determination and hope to see the project come to fruition within the aspiring timeframe.”

Kay Elliott is an award-winning studio of architects and designers, creating buildings and places that enhance their surroundings and the lives of all who use them. It has a large portfolio of projects including commercial, cultural, housing, health, education sectors, the leisure sector, regeneration and masterplanning.