Conference urges city to use heritage to deliver regeneration

The debate about the co-existence of conservation and development is poised to open a new chapter this week, with the opening of the first ever internationally built heritage conference to be held in Belfast.

'LOOK UP BELFAST: A New Perspective On The City', which opens on Tuesday October 1, and continues until Thursday, will sound a clarion call to Belfast to follow the example of other European cities and use its historic buildings to drive forward regeneration.

Commenting on what Belfast City Council wants to see achieved by the conference, Councillor Nelson McCausland, Chair of Belfast City Council’s Arts Sub-Committee, said: “LOOK UP BELFAST will trigger crucial debate on Belfast’s future development and regeneration. However, it is about more than talking. For ambitious initiatives such as our bid for European Capital of Culture and our strategy for the development of cultural tourism in the city, and in terms of improving the quality of life in Belfast, we have to realize that our built heritage is a fundamental asset – and ensure that the appropriate planning mechanisms are in place, and fully resourced.

"I am confident that LOOK UP BELFAST will give us the evidence we need to lobby government effectively in this area.”

In addition to 36 specialist speakers in the fields of architecture, built heritage and culture, The Prince Of Wales will deliver what is expected to be a hard-hitting video message on the opening morning of the conference, which is being staged jointly at the City Hall and the Belfast Waterfront Hall.


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