Bankmore Exchange

Office development
Including Retail use

14 Dublin Road, BT2 7HN

About Bankmore Exchange

Bankmore Exchange, formerly known as One Bankmore Square, was previously the location of a four storey building that housed a cinema and two ground floor commercial units. The cinema comprised of 10 screens with seating capacities ranging from 118 to 436 seats. The cinema opened in July 1993 (Z/1990/2630) under the MGM brand. The cinema changed operators numerous times throughout its history, with Virgin taking over on 4th July 1996, UGC taking over in February 2000 and then later taken over by local independent operator Movie House chain in December 2003. The commercial units had numerous tenants throughout the years too such as the Chicago Pizza Pie Factory, Stiff Kitten, Burger King, Abbots fast food takeway, Stann and Olly's Restaurant and Factory Nightclub. A mutli storey car park was also constructed as part of the cinema project (both built under Z/1990/2630).

In March 2017, Richland Belfast One Ltd submitted a planning application (LA04/2017/0562/F) proposing to demolish the existing cinema building and to develop a new 12 storey Grade A office building comprising eleven floors of offices above a ground floor foyer and retail units and basement parking. The plans also proposed the refurbishment of Bankmore Square open space and wider public realm improvements to surrounding footpath network. This application was recommended approval in the May 2017 Belfast City Council Planning Committee but was later withdrawn in December 2020. 

In February 2019, Kainos Group plc announced that it had bought the One Bankmore Square site for £7.05million. The company stated that it wanted to build it's new flagship headquarters to house 1000 staff members. Kainos chief executive Brendan Mooney also confirmed that the company will submit its own planning application for an office complex of around half that size of the office development previously proposed.

In Febraury 2020, Kainos submitted a Proposal of Application Notice (LA04/2020/0297/PAN) proposing to develop a new £40m office on the site.

Movie House Cinema announced their Dublin Road site would close on 26th April 2020. However, this closure was postponed and the site closed in March 2020 due to the the Covid-19 pandemic.

In May 2021, McCormack Demolition began to demolish the Movie House Cinema building.

In July 2021, Seven7Social Ltd submitted a planning application (LA04/2021/1703/F) seeking the temporary erection (for 2 years) of shipping containers to form an outdoor public house, food and retail market with associated covered canopies, seating and bounsary treatments. This application was approved in May 2022. As part of these plans, Kainos is to temporarily lease its Bankmore Square site to a social enterprise, which is proposing for a pop-up street food and independent retail market. This new development was to be called 'Box Office', a nod to the former Movie House and Dublin Road’s cinema history. It was originally due to open in September 2021.

Box Office later changed their name to 'Trademarket Belfast' due to a "trademark dispute". In June 2022, work began to take place on site, with Trademarket Belfast stating they were expecting to open later that month. The following food and retail vendors were announced for the new outdoor retail and food market; Pipián, Outside In, Pi Guy, Moon Gelato, Barkey and Waggins, Pie Queen, Rebel and Ruse, Urban Market, Kubo and Hey Chick!

In October 2022, Kainos sold half of its new headquarters site to Queen's University. Queens University intends to develop student accommodation on their section of the site. A development brief suggests the Queen's University's Dublin Road site could accommodate about 400 student rooms in a 13-storey tower. Kainos will also now proceed with the selection of a contractor for the construction of the new office building. It expects the project to cost between £27m and £30m.

In September 2023, the Pre-Application Community Consultation for Bankmore Square went live which proposed plans for a Grade A Office development for Kainos and Purpose-Built Managed Student Accommodation for QUB at 14 Dublin Road, Belfast, BT2 7HN (

In November 2023, Kainos submitted a planning application (LA04/2023/4366/F) proposing the development of a 14 storey (plus basement) purpose-Built Grade A Office premises with retail/restaurant unit at ground floor, including external landscaped terrace areas, public realm works, and all associated site works. This application was approved in April 2024 by the Belfast City Council Planning Committee.

Construction of the new Kainos HQ is due to start in September with a completion target of early 2027.

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