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Holywood Arches reveals a vibrant place to shop, explore, and relax

Date: 19 Mar 2024

Category: Supporting businesses

Lord Mayor supports Holywood Arches through Supporting Vibrant Business Destinations initiative

Holywood Arches Business Association has revealed a destination brand to help promote Belfast’s Holywood Arches as a vibrant hub to shop, explore and relax as part of Belfast City Council’s "Supporting Vibrant Business Destinations" initiative, funded through the Department for Communities Revitalisation programme.

With assets including CS Lewis Square, Connswater Community Greenway, Glider / Belfast Rapid Transit and Belfast Bikes, Holywood Arches continues to be a gateway to east Belfast, providing an attractive hub for the community and visitors.  The wide variety of businesses, combined with the Holywood Arches Business Association’s partnership approach, which includes working with regeneration charity EastSide Partnership, adds to the uniqueness of this place.

To celebrate Holywood Arches, a series of events and activities will take place.  This Saturday, March 23 at 12pm and 1.30pm, Beats and Bites, a music and taste Silent Disco, will meet at Jack Coffee Bar, CS Lewis Square.  With headsets on, a guide will help guests explore a range of food businesses with especially curated playlists by east Belfast based local DJ and broadcaster Joe Lindsay. Enjoy disco hits and a homage to east Belfast artists and music, booking advisable.  

Then next weekend, join a Spring celebration on Saturday March 30, 12pm-3pm at a free, family fun event at CS Lewis Square, with live acoustic music performance by a local musician, spring themed walkabout character, a nature jewellery making workshop, and an Easter Bunny hunt competition for families.

The Belfast City Council "Supporting Vibrant Business Destinations" initiative will also support bespoke street art and colourful planters to make Holywood Arches an even more attractive place for the community and visitors.

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Ryan Murphy, commented: “It’s fantastic to see the retailers and businesses at Holywood Arches being supported and profiled. Our Belfast Agenda commits to growing a diverse, inclusive economy, and the Supporting Vibrant Business Destinations pilot scheme is all about promoting economic growth throughout Belfast, by focusing on enhancing infrastructure, marketing, and animation along the city’s arterial routes.

“This important investment from the Department for Communities is helping to strengthen Belfast’s competitiveness by supporting start-ups, independent retailers, social enterprises, and cultural and voluntary organisations to attract greater footfall and spend – and in this case, it’s also supporting local community tourism. I wish the Holywood Arches Business Association every success and look forward to seeing people of all ages and backgrounds enjoying their springtime events.”

Communities Minister Gordon Lyons said: “My Department is committed to the regeneration of cities and towns across Northern Ireland through initiatives which promote urban renewal and development of public spaces. We do this in collaboration with a range of partners and stakeholders, and in conjunction with the local community. I am delighted to hear my department’s funding of the Supporting Vibrant Business Destinations programme has enabled yet another local traders’ association to drive forward the regeneration and economic competitiveness of their area. I wish the Holywood Arches Business Association and the local community the very best for the upcoming events.”

Mary Armstrong, Chair of Holywood Arches Business Association added: “We are very grateful to Belfast City Council and Department for Communities for their support, as this will help us to support our local traders by providing a Holywood Arches brand promoting the place as a vibrant, connected hub, which encourages the community and visitors to shop, explore and relax, as well as continue to position the place as a gateway to east Belfast.

“As part of our destination brand launch, our series of events and activities will form part of our ongoing plans to stimulate economic activity and increase footfall and sales.”

For more information on Belfast City Council’s support for business, go to

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