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Shaftesbury Square, Lagan Canal, parks and sports stadia to share in funding filip

Local projects in line for investment

By Paul Ainsworth

SOUTH Belfast is to “benefit hugely” from Belfast City Council’s new Investment Programme which promises to revamp and create facilities and attractions over the next three years.

The programme, which was launched last week, stressed that continued investment was key to developing the city’s potential.

Both residents of Belfast and tourists are targeted in the programme, which aims to offer visitors a greater choice of facilities and improve life for those who live and work here.

In South Belfast, key projects that will be boosted during the council term include the redevelopment of Shaftesbury Square, the opening up of the Lagan Canal waterway and continued improvement of sporting facilities Windsor Park and Mary Peter’s Track, which will host the World Police and Fire Games in 2013.

Meanwhile local parks are set to benefit with Ormeau Park to get a new 3G football pitch and the Drumglass bandstand in line for redevelopment.

Balmoral councillor Claire Hannah welcomed the investment plans and hailed its boost to ongoing schemes including the fitting of alleygates in local neighbourhoods.

“As well as boosting tourism, which is crucial for the economy, this investment programme is all about making Belfast healthier, safer and greener for everyone living here. The city will benefit hugely from this over the next few years,” she said.

“That’s why projects such as the outdoor gyms, and a bicycle hire scheme are included alongside the likes of the alleygating. Of course we also have to draw in tourism, and I feel this is particularly important for local businesses such as along the Lisburn Road, so this will be welcomed by all. It’s an exciting time, and the council are looking forward to implementing these projects.”

A Council spokesperson said the programme was a “response to the changes that the downturn has created”, and added: “We analysed the challenges and opportunities facing the city in order to establish where action needed to be taken, the potential resources we need to deliver, and the partnerships and relationships we need to realise the city’s full potential.”



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