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Students and schoolchildren provide colourful facelift for south Belfast

1 Jul 2014
A colourful mural painted by students and primary school pupils has provided a much-needed facelift for the south of the city.

The mural project, organised by South Belfast District Policing Partnership, brought a number of agencies together including students from the University of Ulster Students’ Union volunteer programme and children from Botanic Primary School. Also lending a hand was well-known mural artist Danny Devenney and street artist Eoin McGinn.

As part of the project, the wall at Stranmillis embankment was repaired and painted, with preparatory work carried out by the Probation Board for Northern Ireland. There are also plans to replace railing along the length of the wall, and the area that borders the embankment will be landscaped in the coming months.

Cllr Kate Mullan, Chair of South Belfast DPCSP, said: “This project defines the very idea of team work, and shows how environmental and social improvements can be made by working together.

“The project is part of actions that were identified in the Holyland strategic study. Improving the quality of the local environment and public realm is key to improving the safety and attractiveness of an area for existing residents, as well as for visitors and potential residents.”

She added: “The project showed the innovative and creative benefits the city can achieve through partnership working. This project was a result of the council and its partner agencies engaging with young people to bring their vision to life, together. The student volunteers were all art students at the university’s York Street campus, and they designed the mural which incorporates a bright geometric design and a quote from the late Seamus Heaney who had a life-long affinity with the university area.”

Mark Bell, University of Ulster Students’ Union President, said: “It is fantastic to see our local students using their skills and talents to give something back to the local community. Too often students get a bad name in the Holylands area of south Belfast, and this demonstrates the positive work being undertaken by the Students’ Union in collaboration with a range of other stakeholders.

“It is estimated that over 600 volunteer hours in total have been put into the project by the students - which is amazing.”

The project was made possible by a partnership between South Belfast PCSP, Belfast City Council, Department of Social Development, Department of Regional Development, PACT, the Probation Board NI, Chinese Welfare Association, local landlords, University of Ulster and Botanic Primary School.

To see photos of the mural project, visit the council’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/belfastcitycouncil
South Belfast mural project Botanic PS pupils at the new mural