Belfast City Council reflect on £50 million investment in past two months

Belfast city centre. Picture supplied by Belfast City Council.
Belfast city centre. Picture supplied by Belfast City Council.

Belfast City Council were given an outline of the £50 million worth of investment in the city over the past two months at a council meeting last night.

The update on the progress made inthe council’s ‘capital programme’ was given to Members at the first council meeting of the New Year, on Tuesday, 3 January.

The key elements of the investment include new staff accommodation at 9 Adelaide, the new Olympia Leisure Centre and the Connswater Community Greenway.

Councillor John Hussey, chair of the strategic Policy and Resources Committee said: “This significant investment is a sign of the council’s confidence in, and commitment to, the city.

“We’ve set ourselves ambitious targets in the Belfast Agenda around growing the economy, creating new jobs and attracting foreign direct investment and international visitors so that we can improve quality of life here for everyone.

“This investment is about putting the foundations in place for that growth to take place, and for the private sector to follow our lead in realising Belfast’s vast potential.”

The new £27 million 9 Adelaide building, which the council say will provide accommodation for over 800 officers, is the first purpose built Grade A accommodation in the city centre to be completed since the economic downturn. It was delivered ahead of programme, and within budget.

The new Olympia Leisure Centre, the first of the council’s redeveloped facilities under its £105 million leisure transformation programme, is now complete and offers the most modern and advanced leisure facilities in Northern Ireland, with a 25m pool and teaching pool, 120 station gym, four court sports hall, luxurious day spa and state of the art exercise studios.

Match funding of £2.75 million was received from the Department for Communities for this project as part of the NI Executive’s Stadium Redevelopment Programme.

The new CS Lewis Square, part of the £40 million Connswater Community Greenway project, is now a dedicated outdoor space for activities and events with popular sculptures based on characters from the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The space can accommodate up to 2,000 people for events.

A new pavilion and pitch upgrade has been completed at Musgrave, as part of council’s £15 million Pitches Programme, which has seen new facilities open at Cliftonville, Woodlands, Ormeau, Victoria, Lady Dixon, Ballysillan and the Waterworks parks. Work on a new pitch and pavilion is due to commence at Falls Park, and on a new pavilion at Sally Gardens in 2017.

A Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) is also now complete at Springfield Avenue, transforming a previously derelict area of land into a new community facility. Phase one of the Whiterock Community Corridor project which consisted of a new playground and MUGA was also recently completed and Phase two of the project, the completion of the road serving the new Falls Park pitch, will commence later this month, along with the creation of a piece of public art.

In addition, 2017 will see £60 million of leisure investment get underway, with new facilities at Robinson, Brook and Andersonstown and the reopening of the £4 million upgrade of the Tropical Ravine at Botanic Gardens.