New Businesses Can Bridge Community Divide

New workspace units, at Lanark Way in West Belfast, will provide employment opportunities for both communities.

Set up by Impact Enterprises (NI) Ltd the workspace units bridge the Shankill and Springfield Road localities and aim to create new jobs for the local area.

Speaking at the opening of the first two workspace units, Enterprise Minister Maria Eagle said: “The construction of these new workspace units highlights the continued efforts of government, working in partnership with local groups, to regenerate areas of deprivation and unemployment.

“The West Belfast and Greater Shankill Task Forces and Impact Enterprises (NI) Ltd must be commended for making this project a reality.”

The Minister continued: “This development will make a strong contribution to improving cross community relations and has the potential to make a real and lasting impact on the economic prospects of the surrounding area.”

The project was the first in the West Belfast and Greater Shankill area to receive funding from the Government’s Integrated Development Fund (IDF), as part of the commitment in principle to make a total of £21.7m available for a range of projects in the area.  It is co-financed by Invest Northern Ireland and the International Fund for Ireland.  Further financial support has been provided by Belfast City Council and EU funding from the Building Sustainable Prosperity Programme.

Covering 5,920 sq ft of lettable workspace the units have been designed to meet the needs of new or expanding local businesses and are being fitted out with the assistance of Belfast City Council.  

Baroness May Blood, Chairperson, Impact Enterprises (NI) Ltd, said: “In helping local businesses to establish themselves and develop here, we are improving the lives of the local community by ensuring its future economic growth.

“The development will stimulate increased interest in entrepreneurial activity and act as a catalyst for the creation of many new and profitable businesses.”