EastSide Partnership, the regeneration charity focused on building a better east Belfast through delivery of social, economic, environmental and cultural projects, is celebrating 25 years of its commitment to improving people’s lives and ‘make east Belfast a better place.’
Over the past 25 years they have developed and delivered a range of innovative regeneration projects in east Belfast across arts, education, greenways, health, community, heritage and tourism. The establishment of the annual EastSide Arts Festival, the development of the Connswater Community Greenway and the building of a new GP surgery at Bridges Family Practice are just some of the projects that have made a positive impact on the lives of people in the local community.
With a quarter of a century foundation in place, EastSide Partnership is looking forward to the future and building on key successes through a wide variety of projects. EastSide Partnership will focus on:
- Contributing to the regeneration of east Belfast by developing key properties including the upcoming extension of EastSide Visitor Centre by EastSide Property.
- Creating an east Belfast that is a thriving cultural hub; where the arts are valued, creativity is for everyone and people are connected with each other and the wider world through EastSide Arts. This will be achieved through activities like the brand new Big Kids’ Society, a monthly creative pop up night across various venues in east Belfast where people can get creative.
- Promoting the use, enjoyment and extension of green open spaces, parks, rivers and off-road transport routes in east Belfast through EastSide Greenways. Building on the success of Connswater Community Greenway, EastSide Greenways intends to influence and explore the potential for a wider network of Greenway development across east Belfast, linking people and places to a city wide and regional network.
- Helping and supporting children in east Belfast through EastSide Learning to develop their abilities; reach their potential and experience success; whatever their background. EastSide Learning is planning to work with schools and community partners in the coming months to ensure children in east Belfast will benefit from the implementation of the Department of Education’s Reducing Educational Disadvantage programme.
- Coordinating and delivering responsible, sustainable and impactful culture-led regeneration through EastSide Tourism, such as the further development of EastSide Visitor Centre and C.S. Lewis visitor experience.
- Raising awareness and helping alleviate the impact of poverty in Inner East Belfast through the Scaffolding Project. The Scaffolding Project recently published a Briefing Document about ‘the experience of poverty and community responses in east Belfast’. The report is a reflection of what is happening in the community regarding the issue of poverty and provides recommendations on how causes might be addressed which will be a focus for future work in advocating for change.
Michele Bryans, Chief Executive of EastSide Partnership, said:
“Over the past 25 years we have been committed to delivering projects with the aim ‘to make east Belfast a better place’ at its core. We are very proud to have been the key instigator of some very significant and major regeneration opportunities right across east Belfast. Key to our success has been our relationships and especially those relationships within the local community. Without these partnerships our projects could not have made the impact they have. With many exciting projects well under way and alongside our work on building new partnerships, encouraging and influencing investment, we are set to continue to make our mark over the next 25 years.”
Andrew Hassard, Chair of EastSide Partnership, added:
“In this milestone year we want to thank everyone who has been with us on our journey to date. On behalf of EastSide Partnership I would like to acknowledge the support of our staff, past and present, our dedicated Board members, both the Partnership Board and the subsidiary company boards, our local community and business partners and also our elected representatives. Many of our projects and programmes would not have taken place if it weren’t for our funders and sponsors so we also thank them for their support.”
Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Kate Nicholl, commented:
“I want to congratulate EastSide Partnership on their 25 years of service and thank them for their commitment and vision in enhancing the east of the city through such significant regeneration projects down the years. All around the EastSide, you can see the mark of this great work from transforming public spaces to providing better services for our community. We look forward to celebrating future projects with them and hope that they continue with their wonderful work for years to come.”
Gavin Robinson, MP for east Belfast, said:
“On behalf of the people of East Belfast I would like to take this opportunity, to not only congratulate EastSide Partnership on their 25 years of service but to thank them for their dedication, commitment and vision which has helped to make east Belfast a better place. For 10 years as an elected representative, I have been proud to work alongside the Partnership as a supporter and director. There is much still to do; and as we embark on our next chapter, I’ve no doubt the Partnership’s professionalism and reputation will see it leading the way.”
For further information on EastSide Partnership visit www.eastsidepartnership.com. Facebook: /EastSidePship; Twitter @EastSidePship; Instagram @EastSidePship #25yearsregneration #ESP25.