With the ongoing development of key sites in and around the Cathedral Quarter it is seen as imperative that schemes such as Streets Ahead III are progressed as a matter of urgency. Improving the public realm and infrastructure within the CQ and Smithfield & Union will add to the experience of visiting, working and learning in the Cathedral Quarter.
Following the receipt of a letter from the Department for the Communities confirming further delay to the Streets Ahead III project, Destination CQ Chairman, Paul McErlean said:
'At a time when the city centre is already under serious pressure following the Primark fire, any delay to investment, particularly of the quality of the Streets Ahead project is most unfortunate. The message from today's letter is that a key decision can't be made because we do not have a mechanism to make such a decision. This is having a fundamentally negative effect on the northern part of Belfast city centre and the Cathedral Quarter which has already been partly cut off by the Primark cordon.
In the short term, we either need the Secretary of State's new legislation to become law as soon as possible, assuming it will allow decisions like these to get made, and our politicians should also take note that their inability to restore devolved power is being felt on the streets of Belfast in this very tangible way.'
Gareth Neill, Destination CQ BID Manager added:
'It is very clear, despite the recent excellent work of Belfast City Council and other City stakeholders, critical intervention is urgently required to continue to stimulate investment and development across the City Centre.'