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Northern Ireland’s capital city Belfast is about to be on the receiving end of a £150 million investment from Belfast City Council, to be carried out over the next three years. This comes just three months after the city hosted the MTV Europe Music Awards. Belfast’s new piece of good fortune is the result of the council agreed to investing into the improvement of the city’s facilities, appearance, community care and environmental state.
According to BBC News, the city’s economic development will be boosted thanks to a pledge of £34m by the council while approximately £29m will be targeted at maintaining and instigating community development initiatives. One third of this money is said to be coming from Europe, “but largely it’s rate-payers’ cash.”
It is thought to be a further commitment to advancing the city from its reputation of being a place of political unrest and civil disobedience, as fifty per cent of the proposed financing will be focused exclusively on renovating the Waterfront Hall, a popular concert and convention venue in the heart of the city. Councillor Robin Newton made the following statement:
We all know that we have come out of a period of turmoil, terrorism on the streets, bombs in the streets of Belfast. I suppose you look at it and say that we are to some extent learning from our colleagues in the Assembly of this initiative.
Residential communities have also been promised significant improvements, with renovation projects already planned for areas in the North and South of the city which have been subjected to extensive vandalism due to graffiti and abandoned homes which have not been kept up to code.
This revamp comes at a time during which Belfast has several high-profile events in the works, the first of which is the much-anticipated opening of The MAC (The Metropolitan Arts Centre) on April 22. This facility was again funded by the council, as well as by the Lottery Fund and the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, among others.
Joining this in April will be the Titanic Quarter, an area of the city that will be the centre of attention during the centennial commemoration of the ship’s fateful sinking in 1912. The Titanic Quarter was designed with the goal of being:
a high profile European waterfront development firmly rooted in the history and character of Belfast … [with] a range of investment opportunities including: over 7,500 apartments, 900,000 sq. m. of business, education, office and research and development floor space together with hotels, restaurants, cafes, bars and other leisure uses … Titanic Quarter is bringing new life to a part of the city that is rich in both history and potential … expected to create at least 25,000 new jobs over the next 15 years.
As for the latest financial investment in the city, it remains to be seen when exactly certain proposed initiatives will be put into place.
Image Courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/titanicbelfast