4th Jan 2019 in Business

The influential Belfast Buildings Trust (BBT) has today called for fundamental changes to the proposed redevelopment in Cathedral Quarter, known as Tribeca Belfast. Belfast’s future vitality must be rooted in its historic character. Tribeca Belfast is not about Belfast.

The award-winning and influential heritage-led regeneration charity recognises that the Cathedral Quarter needs significant regeneration. It is one of the city’s most historic areas, but Tribeca Belfast ignores the city’s authentic stories in favour of an artificial narrative. Successful places depend on character. It provides the basis for encouraging a strong local economy. It supports a mix of uses that can make the Cathedral Quarter relevant to people from across the city. It is the basis for people to explore real stories of place and identify, on which confident places depend.

Shane Quinn, Development Manager of BBT, said “Authentic regeneration connects people to their city. Tribeca Belfast tries to run away from the city’s real stories. Making the connection between people and place is the basis for a more confident and prosperous Belfast. Research shows time and time again that successful, confident, prosperous cities use their distinctiveness as the foundation for regeneration that spreads benefits locally. The shape of how regeneration gets delivered in Cathedral Quarter is important – homes, offices, cultural and creative uses – but successful places depend on strong foundations, and Tribeca Belfast has none.

The fact that Belfast’s people have reacted so negatively to the name speaks volumes. People in Belfast know this city’s stories. They know what’s authentic and what’s not. It is disappointing that Castlebrooke failed to learn the lessons of previous engagement exercises. But it is critical that they now listen to Belfast’s people and change their approach.”

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