A NEW outdoor social space in Belfast city centre will formally open to the public at the end of month.

A first for Belfast, the pioneering scheme on Brunswick Street behind City Hall, has been developed as part of the Department for Communities' Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Programme and delivered in partnership alongside the Department for Infrastructure and Belfast City Council.

Boasting a games area complete with a pétanque court, outdoor seating, a performance area with a stage for small concerts, and a lighting projection, Flaxx at Linen Quarter is a 43-metre-long structure that will become a vibrant hub for up to approximately 250 people to enjoy social and cultural experiences.
Welcoming the new outdoor space FLAXX, Communities Minister, Deirdre Hargey MLA, said: “This is an innovative project that has seen this area of Belfast reimagined to deliver something completely new for the city.  I am delighted to see the positive change being delivered, through the Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Programme, which has funded FLAXX.  My Department introduced the Programme to assist our towns and city centres in their recovery and it is making real change. 
“I commend the Linen Quarter BID in their vision for this area and am delighted my Department was able to support the delivery of this new civic space as part of the Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Programme.  It will no doubt be a vibrant, engaging place for people to enjoy the area with all that it will offer including cultural and musical experiences as well as a place to socialise.” 
Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Michael Long said: “We’re working with partners including the LQ BID to deliver A Bolder Vision for Belfast, so it’s fantastic to see the Linen Quarter’s look and feel transformed in recent times. FLAXX is an impressive continuation of the ambition partners share for this important part of the city, which we see as a people focused district and a key gateway between the new Belfast Transport Hub and the city centre. With thousands of people living in, working in and enjoying the Linen Quarter every day, it’s important we continue to make it a priority.”
Chris McCracken, Managing Director at LQ BID said: “By taking a look at counterpart cities – Manchester, London, Amsterdam for instance – investment in the public realm to enable people to safely congregate is widely apparent. Enhanced greenery, pedestrianisation and defined outdoor spaces all enhance the aesthetic and support the city to be an enjoyable place to spend time. We need to think creatively to restore economic vitality to Belfast and we’re proud that FLAXX at Linen Quarter demonstrates innovative thinking to transform the Brunswick Street and Blackstaff Square area into a contemporary space."
FLAXX will formally open to the public at the end of the month.