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Belfast Waterfront and Ulster Hall Ltd appoints new Managing Director

Catherine Toolan
Belfast Waterfront and Ulster Hall Ltd has announced the appointment of Catherine Toolan as Managing Director.
The new appointment comes at an opportune time with the recent opening of Belfast Waterfront’s new 7,000m2 conference facility in April this year.

The £29.5 million investment from Belfast City Council, Tourism Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund, through the European Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland, is designed to help position Belfast as a destination of choice for business tourism.

In her new role, Catherine will lead a team of over 300 with a key focus on establishing Belfast Waterfront as a world-class conference and entertainment facility.

Building upon the team’s success to date, Catherine is responsible for driving growth, profitability and strategy for both venues with a target of generating £100m for the city over the next five years.

From Sligo, Catherine is no stranger to taking on mammoth tasks or achieving ambitious targets. Her specialties include overseeing the design and build, supply chain, logistics, manpower planning and operational execution of large scale complex projects and it doesn't get any bigger than overseeing catering for the Olympic Games - over three million meals in 70 days and serving up to 100,000 meals on a peak day.

She brings a breadth of worldwide experience to her new role with over ten years working on global sports projects for Aramark in Beijing, Guangzhou, London and most recently in Rio de Janeiro for the Summer Olympic Games. Catherine is a graduate of Galway Institute of Technology, University College Dublin, and Tsinghua University, Beijing.

Her outstanding contribution to the international business community was recognised in 2010 when she was awarded the Business and Finance Asia Pacific/Ireland International Business Person of the Year Award in Hong Kong.

Commenting on her appointment, Catherine said: “I’m delighted to be joining such a talented team and I look forward to leading and supporting them on the next stage of our exciting journey. The venue is riding on a crest of a wave – it is already recognised in many quarters as a world–class facility but now it has the capacity and technological capabilities, together with the city’s exciting offering to successfully attract more large-scale international conferences and deliver a top quality entertainment programme for the city.”

Ellvena Graham, Chair of the Belfast Waterfront and Ulster Hall Ltd Board, congratulated Catherine on her new appointment and added: “On behalf of the Board, I would like to welcome Catherine to Belfast and look forward to working closely with her towards achieving our goals for the Waterfront and Ulster Hall and generating economic growth for the city. To have successfully recruited a candidate of such a high calibre and one whose skill set and experience fits our requirements perfectly, will only further strengthen our already highly experienced team.”

Since opening on 29 April this year, the new Belfast Waterfront has received overwhelming reviews from event planners, delegates and guests alike. Within this short timeframe the city’s stunning riverside venue has welcomed 38,000 guests attending conferences, exhibitions, business briefings, gala dinners, graduations and entertainment events.

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