The Final Fling - Last Greenway section opens

It’s been an incredible 10 year journey and today, 25th April, Connswater Community Greenway reached a turning point in this transformative project; the opening of the final section through Connswater Shopping Centre and Retail Park to Flora Street Walkway. Thanks to National Lottery players the project received £23.5million from the Big Lottery Fund Living Landmark Programme, the largest award Big Lottery Fund has ever made in Northern Ireland.  With this support, the Greenway is connecting people and places, regenerating and revitalising the area, making east Belfast a better place for people to live, work, visit and invest.

The final link, which flows through the heart of the Connswater Retail Park, was once the location of one of Belfast’s greatest industrial giants and largest ropemaker in the world; The Belfast Ropeworks.  Established in 1875 the Ropeworks once employed 3,600 workers. The new Greenway link includes; 400m new cycle and walkway, 20m span new footbridge, 600m of flood defences, street furniture including lighting, bins, benches and signage, landscaping works including semi-mature trees, blub and shrub planting, A plaque commemorating the Ropeworks will be installed on the new bridge and, over the next few weeks, the public will have the opportunity to vote for the name of the new bridge.

The sun was out in force as residents, stakeholders and visitors walked the new route before speeches at the new Connswater Bridge. Ashfield Girls High School read a poem about Belfast and former Rope Worker Lily Hutchinson (92) unveiled an original plaque from the old Ropeworks site. 

Julie Harrison, NI Chair of Big Lottery Fund, said;
“It’s fantastic to see how the investment of National Lottery funding has transformed this area – we were proud to be able to invest the first major grant which helped develop the vision for the Connswater Community Greenway.  This is a truly ground breaking project that has captured the imagination of local people and communities. I’d like to thank all of those people who play the National Lottery as your contribution has helped create this amazing, transformational space that is improving people’s lives and will be an asset for generations to come.”

Commenting on the opening of the final link, Gerry Monaghan, Manager Connswater Shopping Centre and Retail Park, said;

“It has been exciting to watch this 10 year project unfold and to see first-hand the positive impact it is already having on businesses in the area. The Greenway is a vital new connection for residents and visitors providing much improved access to businesses along route.  It has already helped us to attract interest from new investors and we look forward to our continued work with EastSide Partnership to make east Belfast a prosperous and great place to live, work and invest.”