Belfast construction was 'quieter' in 2019

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Builders on siteImage source, Getty Images

2019 was a quieter year for construction activity in Belfast, according to a report by Deloitte.

There were 26 schemes under construction or completed, down from 35 in 2018 and 30 in 2017.

Twelve new projects were started, up from nine in 2018.

Simon Bedford, partner at Deloitte Real Estate, said Belfast continued to show "resilience" in the face of Brexit uncertainty and Stormont's absence.

Nine office developments, four student accommodation projects and one hotel were among those completed.

"The combination of challenges has slowed Belfast's progress, but many of the pieces remain in place which, if allowed, are ready to accelerate regeneration and investment in the city," he added.

The report also highlighted the need for investment in infrastructure, particularly around the water system.

"There are infrastructure related challenges which require urgent work and investment in major projects, including the city's drainage and wastewater system is a priority," Mr Bedford said.

He noted that while there are a number of schemes planned that hold "transformative potential" for the city, including Tribeca Belfast, Sirocco Works and Odyssey Quays, their timelines are uncertain.

"Although current data on the office market is encouraging, the pace of EU Exit negotiations is weighing heavily on business sentiment, and therefore significant capital investment," he said.