Date: 09 Dec 2022
People are being invited to walk this way to Union Street, Belfast, as its pedestrianisation becomes permanent this Sunday, December 11.
It’s part of a Cathedral Quarter revitalisation scheme funded by the Department for Communities (DfC), Department for Infrastructure (DfI), Belfast City Council and Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District.
Initially an experiment to support placemaking and pedestrianisation, the scheme installed parklets, lighting and street furniture, with the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) putting the necessary statutory road order processes in place.
Chair of Belfast City Council’s City Growth and Regeneration Committee, Councillor Ryan Murphy said: “This scheme is such a positive move for the city centre – and another important step forward in realising our Bolder Vision for Belfast in terms of providing the right infrastructure to support the development of sustainable and active travel, as well as supporting the city centre offer and encouraging new city centre living. It’s enhanced both the area’s ambience and people’s safety when they’re enjoying neighbouring hospitality venues, which are also ambitions of our Future City Centre Programme.
“Lighting and artwork have also been installed in Exchange Place and Warehouse Lane, as well as a retractable canopy to support resident businesses’ and organisations’ outdoor activities. I’m delighted to hear local businesses reporting a full recovery to their pre-pandemic footfall levels as a result, and in some cases, the investment has driven additional footfall. You can really feel the pride in the area, with many businesses already upgrading their premises, or planning to invest in further enhancing their properties.
“To help people navigate and explore this historic area of Belfast, we also commissioned local poet Padraig Regan to create a walking poem, designed and installed by Belfast based branding and digital studio Form Native. I’m looking forward to seeing more verses added to walls and spaces in the Cathedral Quarter.”
Tzvetelina Bogoina, Chairperson of the Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District (BID) added: “We’re so proud of our staff who have worked tirelessly with our partners from inception to delivery of this initiative. It’s been particularly gratifying to see the increase in footfall and that one new business has already opened on Union Street, with at least another two businesses interested in locating here in future.
“We’re confident that this regeneration scheme will be a catalyst for further development not only in the Cathedral Quarter, but in the wider area. It’s a fine example of what can be achieved when all project partners have a shared vision!”
For further information on A Bolder Vision for Belfast, go to www.belfastcity.gov.uk/boldervision