Young people across Belfast have been asked for their input into the regeneration of Belfast Waterside, the £400m re-development of the former Sirocco Work site.

A series of place making workshops aimed at involving 18-30 year olds will take place across three evenings next week in East Belfast and the city centre. The workshops are in addition to three public events, which are open to all ages, and are part of a pre-application consultation on the next phase of proposals.

Vanguard (Sirocco) Limited, a well-financed joint venture of established real estate developers, unveiled the first phase of their residential proposals, and an innovative 7,000 square metre ‘plug and play’ building in April, earlier this year.

The project is set to transform the social, economic and urban redevelopment of the area linking the East with the wider city centre. Chairperson Chris Kane explained why in addition to public events open to everyone in the community, the project team was reaching out specifically to young people, he said:

“Young people are a demographic that can be hard to reach, but who will also be the future inhabitants of the space we are creating. We are excited about the solutions and perspectives the young people of this city can bring to the project. For places and cities to succeed in a modern globally connected world we need to not only harness the best practice of recent decades but also provide an opportunity to hear the views of the future workers and citizens of Belfast. For this project to succeed we want to ensure their voice is a loud one, and impacts how we bring forward designs for what is a key development not just for this area, but for the whole city.”

“We have had positive and constructive feedback from all quarters of the community and elected representatives. We welcome everyone to attend our public events, but we have arranged these workshops to ensure we are creating an innovative new district where the next generation want to work, live and relax. We want to encourage that their voice can be weaved into the fabric of our designs; plans for a new place, in a future Belfast.”

The residential proposals were unveiled in April, and seek to deliver up to 420 new homes including a mix of social, private and affordable homes for sale. Further proposals within the masterplan could create up to 750 new homes across the site. Meanwhile the unique ‘plug and play’ creative cluster building is designed to serve as a space designed for the city’s vibrant digital and creative community, with spaces for local enterprises to establish and grow alongside more established international companies.

Planning applications for the sites masterplan and a first phase £50m 25,000 square metre grade A office building office development were submitted in February. A series of public events will run alongside the place-making design workshops for 18-30 year olds next week. They will be led by Chris Kane, Danish Architects, Henning Larsen, Turley planning consultants and AECOM. Members of the wider project team also include Big Partnership, Atkins and RPS. Further details of the proposals, and how to provide feedback, can be found at www.belfastwaterside.co.uk.

Vanguard is formed of Gulf Resources Development & Investment (GRDI), Graftongate Developments, and The Corbally Group – and brings an international development track-record having collectively delivered c£2 billion of property projects globally.