The city's Old Museum Arts Centre (OMAC) will begin its search for a designer for a £9 million centre next week, the AJ can reveal.
This move comes after the overcrowded centre secured crucial government funds, including an Arts Council grant, yesterday.
The venue - to be located in Belfast's Cathedral Quarter - will include two theatres with a total of 520 seats.
It will also feature visual art galleries, dance studios, rehearsal spaces, education rooms and offices, as well as a bar and restaurant.
OMAC director Anne McReynolds said: 'OMAC is bursting at the seams. Due to the ongoing success of our programmes, we have outgrown our present location.
It will deliver a truly accessible arts experience for disabled people, as well as dedicated dance studios.'
The building is due to open to the public in April 2010.