East Belfast is changing for the better and it’s, in part, thanks to the vision and work of charitable organisation EastSide Partnership. Over the past 20 years this community and voluntary organisation has developed and delivered a range of exciting regeneration projects across health, education, tourism, property, arts and community, which have brought huge benefits and have made their mark on the east of the City.
As part of their 20 th anniversary celebrations the organisation will not only demonstrate their continued commitment to delivering its mission ‘to make East Belfast a better place’ but reveal an organisational name change from East Belfast Partnership to EastSide Partnership.
This new name reflects the organisation’s dedication to driving forward its important work, connecting communities, developing partnerships and influencing investment in the EastSide.
Reflecting on the past 20 years, EastSide Partnership has delivered projects and programmes, big and small, which have focused on creating healthier communities, improving relationships within and between communities, addressing poverty, dereliction and lack of opportunities.
Undoubtedly this has made a positive impact on East Belfast with highlights including:
Neighbourhood Renewal- supporting the most disadvantaged communities in east Belfast to develop project and programmes to improve the quality of life in the area
Developing buildings- including; Bridges Family Practice, EastSide Visitor Centre, Avalon House, Enler Centre, George Best
House, Bloomfield House, 278 Newtownards Road and Lagan Village Tower
Leading the Regeneration of the Newtownards Rd- securing resources for the Environmental Improvement Scheme, new paving, tree planting and shop frontage improvements
Developing Public Art & Open Spaces- including; Starlings, Urban Meadows, Yardmen Sculpture, The Searcher, Connswater Pocket Park, Tower Street Pocket Park, Pitt Park and Grampian Avenue Play Park
Connswater Community Greenway- a £43m project which is transforming the landscape of east Belfast by creating a 16km
linear park for walking, cycling while connecting places and communities
Education- developing programmes to support better education outcomes for children and young people in the most disadvantaged areas
EastSide Arts- developing the arts in east Belfast by establishing EastSide Arts, delivering three annual festivals- EastSide Arts Festival, C.S. Lewis Festival and Woodstock Rhythm and Blues Festival.
With a 20 year foundation in place EastSide Partnership is very much looking forward to the future and to building on successes to date.
EastSide Partnership will focus on:
Contributing to the regeneration of east Belfast by developing key properties
Completing the construction of Connswater Community Greenway and making it a destination for all, locals and visitors
Delivering festivals, developing an annual EastSide Arts programme including community arts projects and supporting
local arts groups
Helping schools and communities to work together more effectively and delivering better opportunities for children and
young people through EastSide Learning
Enhancing and developing the EastSide Tourism product to encourage more visitors to the area
Maurice Kinkead, Chief Executive of EastSide Partnership, said:
“Over the past 20 years we have been committed to delivering projects and services with the aim ‘to make East Belfast a better place’ at the core of our activity. 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 same impact as they have. Under our new brand EastSide Partnership we are focused and committed to continuing our work. With many exciting projects well under way and alongside our work on building new partnerships, encouragin and influencing investment, we are set to continue to make our mark over the next 20 years.
Mervyn Gibson, Chair of EastSide Partnership, said:
“Throughout this milestone year we hope to celebrate and thank everyone who has been with us on our journey to date. With this in mind, on behalf of EastSide Partnership I would like to acknowledge the support of our staff, past and present, our dedicated Board members, not just the Partnership Board but 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”.
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 20 years of service but to thank them for their dedication, commitment and vision which has helped to make east Belfast a better place. All around the EastSide you can see the mark of this fantastic organisation; 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.”
To celebrate their 20 year milestone EastSide Partnership will, over the next few months, host a range of events and competitions.
For further information on EastSide Partnership visit www.eastsidepartnership.com ;
Facebook: /EastSidePship; Twitter @EastSidePship #ESP20.