In one respect the Connswater Community Greenway (CCG) is complete. In another, the story is just beginning.
Construction and environmental work on the CCG, which was extended to include the East Belfast Flood Alleviation Scheme (EBFAS) finished in April 2017. What was an underappreciated landscape has been transformed and people in east Belfast and beyond now have the opportunity to use and enjoy a valuable community asset.
The CCG is a 9km linear park through east Belfast. It follows the course of the Connswater, Knock and Loop Rivers, connecting open and green spaces and creating conditions in which a long-neglected and polluted ecosystem can revive and thrive. These pivotal physical and environmental improvements represent two elements of a much more ambitious project.
CCG Phase 1 placed a priority on the areas around Victoria and Orangefield Parks, as these locations were prone to flooding and this complex issue required urgent attention. A ‘phased’ approach to the Greenway development also meant that sections were opened and made accessible to the community as quickly as possible, so that local people could use the facility and quickly see what the project was aiming to achieve.
This was important as the Greenway is really about people, opportunities, health and quality of life. CCG’s most important purpose is to reconnect the communities of east Belfast and bring the area’s rivers ‘back to life’ as focal points and community assets, by creating vibrant, attractive, safe and accessible parkland for leisure, recreation, events and activities.
The Connswater Community Greenway is a living landmark for east Belfast and a fantastic legacy for our children.
The Connswater Community Greenway is a £40 million investment in East Belfast. The project was developed by EastSide Partnership and delivered by Belfast City Council. It was funded by the Big Lottery Fund, Belfast City Council, the Department for Communities and Department for Infrastructure. An £11 million flood alleviation scheme incorporated into the project has helped to reduce flooding to 1700 properties.