Sailortown in the context of wider City development.
Partner Group who have been working with us to provide high quality art engagement with Sailortown Residents.
Many ex residents of Sailortown were seamen coming home only on leave. This is the docks area and most families had a seafaring tradition going back generations. Belfast focuses on its docks and shipyards and forgets this history. Some men spent their whole working lives away and others settled back into family life after a number of years at sea. We are aware of a number of these through our ex residents and they are keen to meet up on a regular basis to reminisce and have their memories passed on to their families and friends.
When St. Joseph’s is opened for activities we will arrange ‘get togethers’ for ex seamen and their families. We are already having an exhibition with 60 names of Sailortown WW1 Sailors. This is from a database and includes photos, addresses and next of kin.
We want to give their descendants the opportunity to share their stories and look into their family trees as well as celebrate and commemorate lives at sea.
Belfast Urban Regeneration
There are huge building projects happening around Sailortown the largest of which is the York Street Interchange upgrade. This will finally solve the traffic bottleneck created when the M2 was built and not finished. The M2 was the cause of the destruction of the Sailortown Community when their homes were vested in the early 1970’s.
There is an opportunity here to redress this wrong and link Sailortown back into the City.
The New University of Ulster Campus
The New University of Ulster Campus is underway on our doorstep. It will bring 15,000 students into the North end of the City Centre with associated business and leisure outlets. We hope that these students and their teaching staff will appreciate and help to enhance the rich heritage of Sailortown.
City Quays is a mixed-use regeneration project, providing a mix of commercial offices, retail restaurants, apartments and an AC Marriott Hotel on the Sailortown side of the Lagan Waterfront. It is being developed by the Harbour Commissioners who were set up in 1847 to develop and improve Belfast Port. Belfast Port covers 400 years of mercantile industry and shipbuilding in which the Sailortown community played a central role.
The Titanic Foundation
The Titanic Foundation have led on the development and extension of the Titanic Quarter and its flagship Museum for the last 10 years. We are working with them to extend the Maritime Mile trail into Sailortown. Currently it is on the Titanic Quarter side of the Lagan river which has seen huge regeneration over the last 10 years. We are contributing some of our archive material to this to ensure that the Sailortown community’s Heritage is included in visitor signage and art installations.