A recent Hub-In public survey has revealed that an overwhelming majority of respondents “strongly associate” heritage buildings and features with the Maritime Mile.
The Belfast Hub-In team from Belfast City Council and the Maritime Belfast Trust reached out to local communities, employees and visitors in April 2021 through an online survey, shared on social media. It asked people to share insights on their associations with the Maritime Mile, as well as thoughts on what would attract them to visit, or have an impact on them visiting the Belfast waterfront area.
The survey generated 632 responses, with over 80% stating that they strongly associate the Harland and Wolff cranes and the Titanic building with the area, while half of respondents strongly associate the Hamilton, Clarendon, Thompson and Alexandra Docks with the Maritime Mile.
When specifically asked about what heritage they most associate with the Maritime Mile, the Harland and Wolff cranes (45%), the Slipways (30%), Titanic Dock and Pump House (28%) and Titanic Hotel and heritage spaces (28%) were the key heritage assets identified.
And when asked what initiatives or activities would encourage them to visit the Maritime Mile more frequently, over 60% of respondents said a programme of annual events and tours and more cafés and bars. 59% would like to see more evening lights and activity, 38% would like more water-based activity and 35% would like to see more outdoor artwork.
The survey also explored what might have an impact on communities, visitors and employees visiting the area. Just over two thirds of respondents responded with “the weather!” Over half of respondents highlighted free parking and public toilets and 42% of respondents said “more evening activity”.
The exercise has given the Belfast Hub-In team a rich source of information to draw upon as they further develop their innovative plans for the Maritime Mile.