The SSE Arena, Belfast is Northern Ireland’s Premier Entertainment Venue and home of the Stena Line Belfast Giants ice hockey team.
Formerly the Odyssey Arena from 1998-2015 The SSE Arena is Northern Ireland’s biggest indoor arena, with a capacity of 10,000+ for concerts and hosts concerts and sporting events such as Belfast Giants games.
On 25 June 2015, it was announced the Arena would undergo a £3 million refurbishment and became the SSE Arena on September 4, 2015.
As part of the refurbishment for the new sponsorship arrangement with SSE Airtricity there were a number of items that required replacement. The Industrial Symbiosis service had provided previous assistance to the SSE Arena and was contacted to explore opportunities to avoid disposal charges (skip hire etc.) for unwanted resources. The most immediate resources that needed to be removed were 500 folding chairs and a large reception desk which were due to be dumped if no immediate solution could be identified.
The Industrial Symbiosis Service practitioners contacted a number of potential outlets by phone to gauge their interest in the chairs and reception furniture. The interested recipients were then introduced to The SSE Arena. To ensure both a robust and speedy outcome for the SSE Arena the Industrial Symbiosis practitioners maintained regular contact with all parties.The blue folding chairs were distributed among a number of social enterprises and church organisations. Two recipients of the furniture were The Rink in Portadown, and Drop Inn Ministries in Armagh. The Rink is a not for profit social enterprise operated by Love Hockey Ireland. The Rink is Ireland’s largest roller rink but can accommodate a range of sports with an emphasis on Disability Sports. They had been looking for folding chairs and a reception desk but could not afford to buy these items new. DropInn Ministries operate a number of charity shops across NI and had recently opened a conference and retreat centre at Ballyards Castle outside Armagh. The organisation was in need of additional folding chairs to accommodate larger functions but was not willing to invest in new chairs at this stage.
These synergies clearly demonstrate the value of the Industrial Symbiosis service across industry sectors. The synergies have achieved beneficial outcomes for all the parties concerned.
Without the introductions from the Industrial Symbiosis Service within the tight time constraints The SSE Arena would have disposed of the items to landfill at significant cost. The SSE Arena has not only saved on paying costly landfill charges but has generated additional revenue through the resale of these materials.
The five recipient organisations have cumulatively achieved cost savings of £32,591 by purchasing good quality second-hand chairs and reception furniture from The SSE Arena. Many of these organisations are delighted to have found readily usable furniture so quickly and well within what are already tight budget constraints.
“The SSE Arena was under pressure to find a suitable solution for resource streams that had been generated during the refurbishment of the Arena. The Industrial Symbiosis practitioners provided an excellent service in identifying and managing relationships with potential solution providers. It is fantastic that all the items have a new lease of life through a number of social enterprises across Northern Ireland.”
Brian Campbell, Event Services Manager, The SSE Arena
The Industrial Symbiosis Service is funded by Invest Northern Ireland and delivered by International Synergies NI Ltd