This summer Translink’s Belfast Transport Hub project team have been supporting a range of local events as part of an extensive programme of positive engagement with hundreds of local residents and community groups around the site of the new hub.
With works set to start later this year, the team took the opportunity to get right into the heart of neighbouring communities, finding out what matters to local people and communicating the positive change this regeneration project will bring to the area.
Duncan McAllister, Senior Programme Manager explained,
“Through this project, we want to create a positive impact that will bring tangible benefits to the local community by enhancing the quality of life and opportunities for people who live, work, study and visit the area.
“The new integrated Transport Hub will bring a range of economic, social and environmental wellbeing benefits to the area, in terms of new jobs, a new public space and enhanced transport links with rail, coach and bus connections to and from all parts of Northern Ireland and beyond.
“During the pre-construction phase of the project, our team have got involved in local volunteering opportunities, supported local events and have had a visible presence with local residents and the business community.
“We are delighted with the positive response and enthusiasm that local people have towards the project giving the team a real sense of responsibility to deliver for local people.
Some of the engagements carried out over the last few weeks included:
· Painting and clean-up operations at the Arellian Nursery School, Blythefield Primary School and St. Joseph’s Primary school – this work has helped create better school environments and eased the burden of school maintenance budgets.
· Sponsoring PPE equipment for local construction apprentices at TREE CO. The Belfast Transport Hub provided each apprentice (from Sandy Row, Donegall Road and Donegall Pass) with full safety wear including steel toe cap boots, workshop trousers, safety gloves and goggles to enable them to meet the requirements of their course.
· Regular progress updates and engagement with Blythefield Allotment holders, Greater Village Regeneration Trust, Grosvenor Road Community Development Group and Sandy Row Community Forum.
· Supporting local events such as the Arellian Nursery School 90th birthday celebration, Sandy Row Family Fun day, Belle Black summer event on the Grosvenor Road, St. Josephs annual sports day, Blythefield Primary School family day and the Blythefield Park summer event.
· Hosted the ‘Building a skilled workforce for the Belfast Transport Hub’ event, aimed at community leaders to prepare local people for the job opportunities the project will bring.
· Held several Public Information days at the Europa Bus centre to engage with local residents and Translink passengers on key facts of the project.
“We understand the importance of proactively and positively engaging with local groups and residents in and around the project site. We will continue this work, providing updates on the scheme, addressing concerns, supporting local projects and building on the solid relationships that we have formed with community groups and their representatives”.
“Belfast is changing, and we look forward to getting this important project underway to transform public transport in line with this, helping drive economic growth and prosperity of Belfast and Northern Ireland”, Duncan concluded.