Linen Quarter Business Improvement District (LQ BID) has kicked off its second term appointment with a deep clean of the lower end of Great Victoria Street and the Dublin Road, providing a much-needed refresh for these busy but neglected areas of the city which serve as an important gateway from South Belfast. The clean-up, which took place across the Linen Quarter and was funded by the BID, consisted of graffiti removal, painting, power washing and extensive weeding in areas such as Shaftesbury Hospital, Oxfam, Botanic Studios and Ulster Bank.
LQ BID was reappointed to deliver specific improvements to the Linen Quarter for a second five-year term in February, with this active term also seeing its remit extended remit to include southern Great Victoria Street and the Dublin Road, signalling the BID’s vision and ambition.
Chris McCracken, Managing Director of Linen Quarter BID, says long-term regeneration plans for the areas are a key focus and will be achieved by continued collaboration with key city partners such as Belfast City Council and Department for Communities.
He said: “The regeneration of Great Victoria Street and Dublin Road is a priority for us, and we are delighted to commence our second term with a deep clean of the areas giving businesses in the area a taster of the contribution we continue to make. Many areas across the city continue to be overlooked and so become hotspots for anti-social behaviour. It’s our view that partnership working and addressing problems strategically and tactically combined will deliver positive results for the Linen Quarter where cleanliness, safety, regeneration and vibrancy are concerned. There’s still a long way to go but we are pleased by what we have delivered alongside our key partners and look forward to further transformations as we collectively develop the city into a great place to visit, work and live.”
LQ BID continues to invest resource to cleanliness and safety initiatives in support of the District’s high footfall areas which include some of the city’s most recognised hospitality businesses, busy public transport hubs and large offices such as Grand Central Hotel, Europa Train Station, Grand Opera House and the newly opened Ewart Building.
Andrew Wiggam, Head of Operations at Grand Opera House said, “The regular deep cleans of the Linen Quarter provide a welcoming environment for our 300,000 annual visitors. 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. We are glad to see the Dublin Road and Great Victoria Street now included under the BID’s remit and we’re excited to see what further positive changes this extension will bring to the area.”
LQ BID recently put forward its vision to transform the Blackstaff Square area into an enhanced social space in the heart of the city centre. Concepts for the square envisage a vibrant and accessible social space complete with an outdoor zone and pavement café stretching from the Crown Liquor Saloon onto Great Victoria Street and Brunswick Street.
The BID has also recently installed new planting at its parklet on Linenhall Street with a colourful new vinyl artwork, referencing the Linen Quarter’s important history and iconic landmarks, also delivering an improved aesthetic.
Chris adds: “Our remit may have changed for this new five year term but our ambition remains the same. We look forward to continuing to work with South West Group and Belfast City Council, and our primary funding partner Department for Communities to deliver our five year plan for the Linen Quarter – a vision that will manifest over 50 separate projects and an investment of £3.7m in tangible improvements.”
For more information visit linenquarter.org