Alliance Councillor for North Belfast, Nuala McAllister has said that now is the time to kickstart the new Belfast that citizens deserve, after plans to revitalise Belfast City Centre took the next steps in City Growth and Regeneration Committee tonight.
Councillor McAllister said: “Belfast city centre has the potential to be the heart of everything that happens in our city. We need to encourage an inclusive and connected city centre attractive to families, shoppers, workers and visitors alike. City centre living may provide the lifeblood that many businesses need, but families, workers and visitors need appropriate services, such as open spaces and parks.
“Now is the time to kickstart Council’s plans to reimagine our city centre. Plans like pedestrianising the city centre and creating a safe cycle network to connect the city centre to all communities across Belfast. Or plans like developing a cafe culture that tourists expect in a thriving city will only add to the vibrancy and enjoyment of Belfast by all.
“There is a lot of investment currently taking place and planned, but we need to make sure this investment can enrich opportunities - that is why the work must start now. Only by collaborating together from the onset will we transform the city centre into a diverse and welcoming place.
“It is also important that people who live on the edges of the city centre feel they are part of the city through proper planning of the arterial routes that should facilitate easy movement and not act as barriers. People in North Belfast, for example, need to see the benefits of the developments that will take place over the next few years and be assured they will not be left behind.
“Belfast City Council has an important role to play in reimagining the city centre. Council needs to ensure that relevant government departments and developers work in a co-ordinated way for the benefit of all. The Alliance group of councillors will be to the fore in promoting Belfast City Centre at every opportunity and helping bring these important plans to fruition.”