Date: 21 Dec 2020
Springfield Dam on Belfast’s Springfield Road has reopened to the public following a major redevelopment.
Works included the installation of a new pedestrian and cycle bridge across the dam, new walking and cycling pathways, creation of a new event space, an outdoor classroom for schools and community groups, viewing platforms, additional lighting and planting.
Belfast City Council delivered the project thanks to funding from the EU’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). Match funding was provided by the Department for Communities who also provided 10 acres of land, including a former cooling dam, for the scheme.
Councillor John Kyle, Chair of Belfast City Council’s Shared City Partnership, said: “The upgrade to Springfield Dam is a very welcome investment in this part of Belfast. The funding has allowed us to create an extremely attractive park with new features that will undoubtedly attract locals and people from further afield whether it be for recreation, educational purposes or events in the future.
“This project is one of the key enhancements along the route of the new 12 kilometre Forth Meadow Community Greenway. The greenway will create new shared pathways to connect parks and open spaces along a 12 kilometre route in north and west Belfast.
“Through these PEACE IV-funded shared spaces projects, our aim is to encourage residents to make more use of facilities in neighbouring areas and build positive relations between communities. This supports the city’s community plan, the Belfast Agenda, which includes aspirations to regenerate neighbourhoods, improve community relations and create a safe and welcoming city for everyone.”
Minister for Communities, Deirdre Hargey MLA said: “I am delighted that my Department has been able to work in partnership with Belfast City Council and the Special EU Programmes Body to deliver this wonderful project.
“For many years, the majority of this area lay idle and was regularly the focal point for anti-social behaviour. Now, it has been transformed into an incredible asset that will greatly benefit the local community.
“This is a great example of collaborative working to achieve shared goals. My Department’s regeneration commitment to this scheme will not only see physical renewal, it will also deliver social and community renewal.”
Welcoming the opening of the park Gina McIntyre, Chief Executive of the SEUPB, said: "I am delighted that this newly re-developed park has been completed and is now open to the public. It will create a space that can be enjoyed by people from all communities and backgrounds, allowing them to interact with each other and forge positive relationships.
"This is one of the core objectives of the EU's PEACE IV Programme, which has been designed to encourage greater levels of social cohesion in the pursuit of enhanced peace and reconciliation. It is also a real testament to the hard work of all those involved that this project can still be completed under our current circumstances. I would congratulate them on their commitment, dedication and ingenuity".
The Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland have provided support for the PEACE IV element of the project.
For more information on Belfast’s PEACE IV shared spaces capital projects, visit Shared Spaces.