TESLA has acquired a site in Belfast’s Boucher Road for its first base in the north.
The US electric vehicle manufacturer has taken over the former Trust Ford sales site opposite the Olympia Leisure Centre.
It’s understood the company has already recruited staff for the operation, which will include a service centre based in the existing two storey building.
It comes amid reports in Britain that the UK’s Department for International Trade is seeking 4 million sq ft of industrial space for an electric car ‘gigafactory’.
While DIT has not confirmed whether the site is being sourced for Tesla, the company’s chief executive Elon Musk reportedly flew into London in early June.
Tesla already operates a service centre in Dublin and ten in Britain. It’s planning to double that number, with Belfast soon to join the list of active sites.
Earlier this year, the company’s construction manager for Europe, the Middle East and Asia, Lois Sajtos, lodged three planning applications with Belfast City Council relating to 15 Boucher Road.
Drawings submitted to Belfast City Council on behalf of Tesla.
Permission has already been granted for two containers to be installed at the rear of the building for storing a forklift and batteries.
Two other application are still being considered by Belfast planning officials. One relates to new six metre neon red Tesla sign on the Boucher Road.
Flags and large Tesla lettering are also set to be erected on the site.
Ford closed its dealership on the site in February this year, redirecting customers to sites in Lisburn and the Newtownards Road.
Osborne King marketed the lease on the 8,195 sq ft site, which comes with an annual rent of £100,000.
It’s believed there are around 2,000 electric vehicles on the roads in the north. There are currently around 337 public charge points for electric vehicles here. The ecar network is owned and operated by the ESB group.
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