Belfast has experienced a huge investment boom in the past 20 years and the docks and quays are beginning to again become the heartbeat of the City.
The revitalisation encapsulated by the Titanic development has showcased Belfast docks to a worldwide audience as well as generating hundreds of millions of pounds of investment, wealth and job creation.
In this new era, Sailortown Regeneration propose that the ‘Chapel on the Quays’ becomes a focal point for local people to use as a communal meeting place and for all to remember and celebrate Belfast’s maritime heritage.
A City is not just for tourists and office workers. To be truly attractive to international investors it must do more than just build infrastructure and branding. It must retain its individual identity as this is what makes it unique.
We’re on the road to opening St. Joseph’s for community use, but it will eventually need a full restoration to realise its full potential. It is surrounded by multi-million-pound development projects such as the York St. Interchange, the new University, City Quays office and retail and across the river the Titanic Quarter. In wider Belfast old buildings are being knocked down for new builds. Inner city communities which have survived for centuries are being overwhelmed.
As we move into the future, we need to remember that a city is built on people and the people who live here need to feel they belong and be enabled to play a part. It’s been 50 years since the Sailortown community was devastated by road building. In these times of ‘Urban Regeneration’ there is an opportunity to put right that wrong.