Software giant’s generosity to help create pop-up street food market

Software giant’s generosity to help create pop-up street food market

A pop up street food and retail market is to be created on the site of the former Movie House cinema thanks to the generosity of Belfast software company Kainos.

The tech giant, which last year made a profit of £57 million and grew its global workforce to more than 2,000, is temporarily leasing the Bankmore Square site to a social enterprise which hopes to open the independent retail market in September.

Box Office, a nod to the Dublin Road’s site’s cinematic past, will host several start-ups working out of shipping containers and Kainos is to give its rent to charities supporting those in food poverty.

Box Office founder Will Neill said: “Belfast is such an exciting up-and-coming city, and having a space like this to showcase the very best of our start-up food and retail vendors will be fantastic for tourism and the local community. We owe Kainos our thanks.”

‘Fantastic for tourism’

With an emphasis on sustainability, supporting small businesses and a commitment to ensuring a fair living wage is paid to all staff, the Box Office project aims to offer a place for the community to come together, promoting strong environmental and social unity messages.

Kainos, which plans to begin building work at the site in 2022, said it will use the time to engage with its people and customers to develop a clearer understanding of its future office needs.

Its chief executive Brendan Mooney said: “It’s important to us that while we are planning for our future, the site at Bankmore Square is temporarily utilised in a positive way, so we are delighted to support this initiative.

“It reflects our broader commitment to sustainability, ensuring we have a positive impact on the environment, society and in our local communities.”

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