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Published - June 2024

Performance Improvement Plan 2024 - 2025

Improvement objective 2: Our people and communities

In addition to the specifics set out below, we will improve our local areas and improve health and wellbeing for our resident, by delivering programmes of work and activities contained within the Belfast Agenda 2024-28, the draft Corporate Plan 2024-28, committee plans and supporting departmental and business plans.

Improvement objective 2

We will improve our local areas and provide opportunities to support our residents to become healthier and engaged.

Why is this an improvement objective? 

  • Recent health data shows that life expectancy overall has stopped increasing and there is a growing need to tackle obesity and increase the levels of physical activity across Belfast.
  • Objective is aligned to the outcomes, priorities, strategic intents, and actions identified withing the Belfast Agenda 2024-28 and draft Corporate Plan 2024-28. 
  • Results from our residents’ survey showed the need to focus on improving our neighbourhoods, providing more or better facilities, such as enhancing our parks and leisure facilities and enhancing how we engage with, and involve residents in decision-making.
  • Feedback from the Belfast Agenda engagement process and residents’ survey highlighted improving health and wellbeing as one of the highest-ranking priorities for our citizens.   
  • Enables us to identify the specific areas that the council can do to improve the health of our residents.

Relevant strategies, plan, and evidence at regional and local level 

Regional: Active Living the Sport and Physical Activity Strategy for NI (2022), Marking Life Better – Strategic Framework for public health, Whole Systems Approach to Obesity Prevention, Regional Development Strategy (2035), SPPS.

Local: The Department of Health’s Annual Health Inequalities report, The World Health Organisation’s Belfast Healthy Cities Strategy, LDP, BOSS, Get Active Belfast – A framework for physical activity – Active Belfast Partnership.

Alignment to the Belfast Agenda (BA) and corporate plan 

BA outcome: Belfast will be a city where everyone experiences good health and wellbeing. 

BA and corporate plan theme: Our people and communities – Making life better for all our residents.

BA and corporate plan priority: Health inequalities and community and neighbourhood regeneration.

Statutory aspect of improvement 
  • Strategic effectiveness
  • Service quality, availability, and fairness
  • Sustainability
  • Efficiency
  • Innovation

We will:

  • Deliver improvements to parks and open spaces to improve people’s health and wellbeing.
  • Enhance our playgrounds to encourage people to be more active.
  • Complete Peace IV projects to enhance community assets and the availability of shared and inclusive spaces.
  • Increase the number of people using our leisure centres, to participate in sport and physical activity.
  • Enhance and improve how we engage and involve our residents in decision making.
  • Deliver animation and outreach activities to encourage and engage people to participate in our community, play, leisure development and park programmes.
  • Develop the Belfast Physical Activity and Sport Development strategy and action plan to create a more active city.
  • Develop the Belfast Pitches Strategy and action plan to maximise provision and usage of outdoor pitches.
  • Complete a parks and open spaces improvement action plan to achieve the vision of the Belfast Open Spaces Strategy (BOSS).

Our measures of success for 2025 include:

  • Completing major improvements to one park (Pitt Park) by securing £1.7m external funding.
  • Progressing major improvements to one park (Ballysillan Playing Fields).
  • Progressing major improvement to one open space (Cathedral Gardens).  
  • Investing £580k and completing the annual playground improvement programme (based on new play value and accessibility criteria).  
  • Investing over €12m in two Peace IV projects - Shankill Shared Women’s Centre and Black Mountain Shared Space.
  • Increasing the number of people using our leisure centres to 3.3 million.
  • Increasing the number of adult and junior leisure centre monthly memberships (including swim school) to 31,250.
  • Delivering at least two Participatory Budgeting (PB) processes.
  • Delivering at least 100 programmes across our community, play, leisure development and park programmes.
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