The Action Plan aims to implement a set of actions needed to encourage local creatives and cutting-edge technology companies to work together with communities
Until the Second World War, Northern Ireland’s capital Belfast was a global industrial centre. Then a period characterized by economic, political and social uncertainty began. Today, Belfast is the second fastest-growing knowledge economy in the UK and has become a world-leading hub of discovery in digital technology.
The Belfast HUB-IN place is located at the city’s iconic Maritime Mile, a vibrant, accessible destination. Some of the heritage is tangible, however much has disappeared over time. To reach its full potential, the area is undergoing a process of urban transformation and has recently become part of the city’s new Innovation District, which is home to a creative and engaged community of SMEs, researchers, corporations, and start-ups.
The HUB-IN project provides an opportunity to explore how we can harness innovation to overlay new ideas and concepts over old to further enrich the Maritime Mile for the benefit of those who live in, study, work or visit our city – Áine Groogan Councillor, Chair of Strategic Policy and Resources Committee, Belfast City Council
The Maritime Mile: A sustainable, vibrant destination
The Belfast local Hub of Innovation will build on the heritage of the Maritime Mile. It will enhance and enrich its existing story and support its development through the implementation of the action plan. The group of stakeholders involved in the HUB-IN co-creation workshops identified a broad range of opportunities for this historic urban area. These opportunities became a roadmap made of three missions that will be now implemented through the following actions:
Action 1 – The Waterfront Promenade Framework – aims to reverse trends of abandonment and neglect of heritage and will provide stakeholders such as developers, creatives, landowners and local communities with a clear long-term vision to work towards. The Framework will ensure the recovery of cultural heritage, underpinning a clear sense of local identity of the city’s waterfront.
Action 2 – The Sustainability Audit – will be the first phase in supporting the Maritime Mile to achieve accreditation as a sustainable destination. The audit will support the ambition to promote greener ways for businesses to achieve Green Tourism Accreditation. It is envisaged that this will attract new businesses and enhance well-being and quality of life.
Action 3 – The Challenge Call – aims to boost heritage and culture-relevant innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship and light ‘reindustrialization’ of the historic urban area. The open call will provide local creatives the opportunity to work with cross-sector partners and community representatives to develop new skills and innovative prototypes, as well as the chance to work in an area underutilised by creatives.
The development of the Belfast HUB-IN will foster the transformation, underpinning the ambition to turn the city’s waterfront into a people-centric, revitalised, vibrant destination, home to a range of innovative and creative entrepreneurs, where the community thrives.
Learn more about the project here.