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Connswater Community Greenway on track for UK recognition

30 Mar 2018
The Connswater Community Greenway is one of four finalists in the UK River Prize 2018 Urban Project Category.

The UK River Prize celebrates the achievements of individuals and organisations working to improve our rivers and catchments, and recognises the benefits to society of having a healthy natural environment.

The Connswater Community Greenway (CCG) is a 9km linear park following the course of the Connswater, Knock and Loop Rivers through east Belfast, connecting open and green spaces and revitalising the polluted river system.

The CCG has reconnected the communities of east Belfast and has brought the area’s rivers ‘back to life’ as focal points and community assets, by creating vibrant, attractive, safe and accessible parkland for leisure, recreation, events and activities. It’s one of the most ambitious, highest-quality green infrastructure projects delivered in the UK to date.

As part of the works, the Department for Infrastructure Rivers carried out an £11million flood alleviation scheme on the Connswater, Knock and Loop Rivers, restoring the river system and ensuring flood protection to approximately 1,700 properties after serious flooding affected east Belfast in 2007 and 2008.

Since its official opening in September 2017, the CCG has continued to work with a wide variety of agencies and stakeholders including the NI Environment Agency who carry out river monitoring on a regular basis.

Commenting on the success of the Connswater Community Greenway, Michele Bryans CCGT Manager said:“The river restoration works on the Connswater Community Greenway have been significant in bringing the rivers back to life for the east Belfast community. And we now have a wildlife corridor in an urban city area, which is magnificent. Being a finalist in this award category is recognition of how much the project has achieved so far.”

Congratulating the Connswater Community Greenway, Owen McGivern from DfI

Rivers said: 

“We are very pleased with the success of this project which combined the provision of much needed flood alleviation with the regeneration of the river system. The flood alleviation system was designed to work with the natural river processes, support a healthier river ecosystem and enhance the amenity value of the area.”

Adding her congratulations, Belfast Lord Mayor Councillor Nuala McAllister said:

“We’ve committed in our Belfast Agenda to making this a vibrant, attractive, connected and environmentally friendly city - so we’re very proud to have helped the Connswater Community Greenway vision become a reality through our investment and partnership work. 

“It’s been transformative for east Belfast, helping to make it a better place for people to live, work, visit and invest – and it’s now an asset for communities and visitors to use and enjoy. I’m delighted that the CCG has reached the final of the UK River Prize 2018 Urban Project Category and really hope that it goes on to win and become a beacon of good practice for other cities to emulate.”

The winner will be revealed at the UK River Prizes awards ceremony on 24 April at the De Vere East Midlands Conference Centre.
Rainbow in Orangefield Park