An urban forest, a large multi-use events space and a permanent memorial to the Belfast Blitz are just some of the features included in ambitious plans unveiled for the multi-million-pound redevelopment of Cathedral Gardens.
Belfast City Council aims to transform the area between St Anne’s Cathedral and Ulster University’s Belfast campus into a unique world class public space.
Building upon the historic Cathedral area, other proposed features in the redevelopment include garden ‘rooms’ located under the canopies of the mature trees in the urban forest, public art, interactive audio-visual water and lighting features, outdoor dining areas and a range of play features for young children.
Councillor Áine Groogan, Chair of Belfast City Council’s Strategic Policy and Resources Committee, said: “These are extremely exciting and innovative plans which reflect our aim to create an exceptional urban space for families, students and visitors to enjoy all year round, night and day.
“Alongside Ulster University’s investment in its new campus, the landmark £100million Belfast Stories project which we recently announced and other significant projects already underway in the area, this part of the city centre is undergoing a radical transformation. We hope that Cathedral Gardens will play its part in breathing new life into the area.”
The council hopes that the proposed tree-lined events space will in time host numerous small and large-scale events ranging from the annual Culture Night, music concerts, children’s festivals, food markets, flower and fashion shows and much more besides, helping to support and boost the city’s annual cultural programme.
Councillor Groogan added: “This project will also address the lack of green spaces in the city centre. It supports our strategic ambitions outlined in the ‘A Bolder Vision’ document, by helping to create a more attractive, accessible, safe and vibrant city centre which is greener, more walkable and better connected.
“In keeping with Belfast’s ambitious climate plan, sustainability also lies at the heart of our thinking. There will be a mix of trees, plants and shrubs which we hope will attract urban wildlife. Rainwater will also be captured, stored and used to water the lawn, trees and other planting within the gardens.”
The public is now being asked to have its say on proposals as part of a consultation exercise before the final designs are completed for the space.
To find our more and to take part in the consultation, visit the Your Say Belfast website and complete a questionnaire before 23 May 2022.