How a community changed - a perspective from the inside. Join the founding chief executive of EastSide Partnership on a 3 hour walking tour of EastSide, seeing what is changing and the 'inside story' of how this was achieved. We'll start in JACK coffee bar (named after local literary giant CS Lewis) with your choice of beverage and some background information about EastSide and the tour. We will then go outside to CS Lewis Square, an award winning public space, and see the amazing Narnia themed sculptures. We'll then follow the Connswater Greenway along a 'mini Van Morrison tour' stopping at some of the places made famous in his songs, including his boyhood home on Hyndford St. We will return to CS Lewis Square via Cyprus Avenue, a beautiful tree-lined avenue, made famous by Van in what many music critics regard as one of the best albums of all time Astral Weeks, before making our way along the greenway to the beautiful Victoria Park, passing the stadium of Glentoran FC and hear the story of how they won the first ever european soccer cup in 1914! Along the way we will see some fascinating street art, including many murals associated with our troubled past and many more celebrating our shared present and future. You’ll hear some personal and unique stories of how this all happened, set in the context of our 40+ years of ‘the troubles’.
I'm the founding chief executive of an urban regeneration non-profit and we have led on the renewal of the east side of the city of Belfast as it has emerged from a troubled period to become one of Europe's must-visit cities. I lead a committed and creative team who have together led the transformation of what is now regarded as one of Belfast's most exciting places for art, food, beer and amazing green spaces In the past 10 years we have delivered multiple annual arts festivals, a £40 million urban greenway, Belfast's first container restaurant, a new visitor centre and many more transformative projects And all of this happens against a background of persistent urban deprivation so a key focus has been on ensuring the benefits of regeneration reach into the most disadvantaged communities.
EastSide Partnership's mission is simple - to make east Belfast a better place, particularly for those from its most disadvantaged communities. To do so we deliver arts and education programmes, undertake physical renewal of derelict buildings and sites, and have turned what was once an 'industrial sewer' back into a beautiful river based community park.
The tour will start with a free coffee prepared by an expert barista or other beverage of your choice in the cafe while I…
You will also be provided with free colour maps of EastSide, the Connswater Greenway and the CS Lewis Square.
We’ll start our tour in JACK cafe, a friendly community space inside a visitor centre and beside the Narnia themed CS Lewis Square The tour will mainly follow the multi award winning Connswater Community Greenway along which are most of the fascinating places we will visit about which you will hear unique stories.
While the tour lasts up to 3 hours, this includes our start in the visitor centre cafe and will also finish back in the cafe where you can have lunch if you wish. The route is mainly flat and at a slow pace with lots of stops
Community change - the inside story