Heritage for regeneration: A walking tour of North Belfast Cultural Corridor @ImagineBelfast

Heritage for regeneration: A walking tour of North Belfast Cultural Corridor
by Allan LEONARD for Carnegie Oldpark
22 March 2017

As part of the Imagine Belfast Festival of Ideas and Politics, participants walked along the North Belfast ‘Cultural Corridor’, ending up at Ulster University for a brief seminar on the potential of community-led regeneration utilising local architectural heritage. Continue reading


With the establishment of the state of Northern Ireland, the unionist government under Lord Londonderry attempted to create a singular education system. However, this was met with significant opposition by both Catholic and Protestant churches, and the initiative failed. Instead, the Protestant churches agreed to transfer their primary schools to state control in exchange for full funding of both running and capital expenditure, while the Catholic Church was also granted full funding of the running expenditure of its primary schools and was allowed to maintain formal ownership and control provided it raised a proportion of capital expenditure. (Boyle p. 40) (The Catholic maintained system was subsequently fully publicly funded.) The result is what we now know as Northern Ireland’s segregated education system. Continue reading


According to the CAIN (Conflict Archive in the Internet) website, a peace line or peace wall are “physical barriers between the Protestant/Loyalist community and the Catholic/Nationalist community in certain areas in Northern Ireland”.

These walls are usually constructed of concrete, stone and/or steel, and can be over six meters tall. Some even have gates in them that allow passage during daytime and are closed at night. Accompanying the creation of these interfaces were interface community groups: those residents who lived alongside the walls. Although interfaces are widely acknowledged as features of most urban areas across Northern Ireland, it is also important to recognize that segregation is a feature of life in all parts of the country, including rural communities. Continue reading

Is a sustainable economy in reach in Northern Ireland?

Is a sustainable economy in reach in Northern Ireland?
MAC Question Time, In Partnership with Ulster Bank
by Krisztina NAGY for Northern Ireland Foundation
1 Sep 2015

“The growth of the local economy has stalled and the Welfare Reform stalemate is holding back delivery of a reduced Corporation Tax, one of the main features of the Stormont House Agreement.” Continue reading

Acting on shared experiences: FCT 2011 report launch

Acting on shared experiences: FCT 2011 report launch
by Allan LEONARD for Northern Ireland Foundation
12 June 2012

At Parliament Buildings, where the Northern Ireland Assembly sits, I was responsible for organising an event for our Forum for Cities in Transition project, which is an international network of mayors, councillors, municipal officials, business people, and representatives of the voluntary and community sector. Continue reading