Belfast Northside Set For Major Regeneration

A new initiative to regenerate a part of Belfast city centre that has been neglected since the Troubles has been launched by the Stormont Social Development Minister.

Alex Attwood announced a number of investment initiatives to transform the Northside of Belfast City Centre.

These include a new promotional campaign and website for developers to declare their interest in regeneration opportunities for vacant sites in the area - such as Library/Press Quarter, Carrick Hill and Browns Square - and a commission to design a comprehensive regeneration scheme for the gateway site at the junction of North Street and Millfield.

He is also seeking to commission a design and is to prepare a planning application to create a new public square with improved streetscape for the regeneration of the junction at Little Donegall Street and Library Street with the designs for the announced projects are to be prepared by Drivers Jonas Deloitte, Benoy Architects and Peter Brett Associates.

The SDLP Minister said: "These initiatives are good news for the Northside of Belfast. The promotional campaign and design schemes are my Department's initial steps towards attracting private investment into a part of the city centre that has been neglected and was badly hit during the troubles.

"The area holds the potential to benefit from the sort of investment we have seen in the Cathedral Quarter, Royal Exchange and the York Street campus of the University of Ulster.
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"I invite the property development and investment sector to come forward with proposals which respond to my Department's 'Northside Urban Village' scheme.

"This aims to develop the area and provide commercial, housing and educational uses to revitalise the north side of the city centre," he said.

"I am determined that Belfast is not left behind when the upturn in the property market arrives.

"We must maintain our competitive position alongside other European cities by planning for future growth during this difficult time.

"My Department will consult with all key stakeholders and community representatives in the Northside to take on board their views as we roll-out these three initiatives," he concluded.

North Belfast Alliance Representative Cllr Billy Webb has called for the Social Development Minister Alex Attwood to deliver completion of the newly-announced regeneration projects in North Belfast quickly.

Billy Webb welcomed the projects and said it's vital the Minister works with people in each area to deliver the best possible scheme for them: "These projects are very welcome and have the potential to greatly boost the economy and deliver improvements for many people in the area. However, the Minister must ensure these schemes are completed as quickly as possible.

"It's also very important that the Minister listens to people in each area throughout the whole process so that each project is right for them," he continued.

"These scheme will provide signifiant work in the construction sector and the quicker work starts, the sooner we can boost this important industry which has experienced difficult times recently."

See: www.belfastnorthside.com


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