Linen Quarter BID unveils transformed Bankmore Square

Bankmore Square has officially reopened following a rejuvenation project delivered by Linen Quarter Business Improvement District (LQ BID) with support from the Department for Communities (DfC). Adjacent to Trademarket on the Dublin Road, the square has been reimagined with a £95,000 investment and will be managed by LQ BID. The lease is currently in place until 2025.  

Previously known as a hotspot for anti-social behaviour, Bankmore Square’s new look will encourage the space to be used in a new way. Part of the reimagination strategy includes partial removal of wall to open the space to areas of high footfall, whilst increased surveillance will serve as a deterrent. Additional works include the installation of a new circular central feature to facilitate small scale music events and pop-ups, introducing a new level of social vibrancy to the square.

Linen Quarter BID

Tree wrap lighting has also been installed in over 20 trees to brighten the square during the evening and enhance perceptions of public safety. The lighting will contribute to a growing evening economy along Bedford Street and the Dublin Road

Welcoming the restored space, Patrick Anderson, acting Director for Belfast Regeneration Directorate said, “We’re pleased to work closely once again with LQ BID to contribute to the ongoing reimagining of the Linen Quarter and delivery of positive change and quality outdoor spaces to enhance our vibrant city. I commend the BID for its vision on the rejuvenation of Bankmore Square and I’m delighted the Department for Communities could support the delivery of what will no doubt, be a vibrant and welcoming meanwhile space for the community to socialise and enjoy.”

Bankmore Square was officially reopened as part of LQ BID’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on June 28.

Chris McCracken, Managing Director at LQ BID, said, “We’re extremely grateful to DfC for supporting this temporary intervention and continued investment in enhancing Belfast’s Linen Quarter. Research shows that enhanced lighting, increased surveillance, and higher footfall all have an impact on combating crime and reducing anti-social behaviour.

“Our vision for the Linen Quarter goes beyond revitalising physical spaces. It’s about fostering a sense of security and vibrancy within the community. By creating an environment that is inviting, people-friendly, and conducive to positive experiences, we can shape the overall perception of the area to benefit its residents, workers and local businesses. We look forward to seeing our members and the public enjoy the newly revitalised meanwhile space and welcoming events in the summer months.”

The upgrade to Bankmore Square also includes the relaying of existing paths, grass lawns and land drainage improvements. In addition to features such as the newly sown native wildflower meadow – expected to blossom in the coming weeks, climbing plants have also been added around the toilet block to create a high-quality green space for surrounding communities.

Naomi Wilson, Director of Sales and Marketing at Clayton Hotel adds said: “As a member it’s fantastic to see LQ BID embrace a vision of transformation which will have a whole host of benefits for its member businesses. These efforts go a long way in enhancing the area’s appeal making it more attractive for visitors and customers to come and spend time here with us.”

The BID was reappointed earlier this year for a second five-year term following a member vote. Its future plans include the delivery of 50 additional projects throughout the District, including long-term regeneration plans for the Dublin Road area and Great Victoria Street, with continued collaboration with key city partners including the Northern Ireland Executive and Belfast City Council. In recent months LQ BID has worked in partnership to deliver a number of public realm improvements including the installation of two vibrant murals, colourful new vinyls, and enhanced planting throughout the entire District.

Bankmore Square is a temporary intervention, with LQ BID holding a lease on the land from the Department of Infrastructure currently until March 2025. In the longer-term part of the space will be used to facilitate new infrastructure for the highly anticipated North-South Glider route.

Keep an eye on linenquarter.org for upcoming events in Bankmore Square and get in touch with [email protected] for more information on how you can request to utilise the space.  

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