Belfast has been crowned the best regenerated city centre in the UK.
The huge £28m redesign Belfast Streets Ahead Project was heralded the winner at the RICS Awards Grand Final in London.
After a major five-year project the revamped area now joins previous prestigious winners including St Paul’s Cathedral and the site of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.
Launched in 2007, 14 streets were given a facelift in the project funded by the Department for Social Development.
The objective was strengthening the city centre as a high quality shopping spot based in a safe, urban environment. The second stage of the project involved a £7m facelift for Donegall Place and Castle Place that included new paving and lighting and making streets more accessible for pedestrians.
Eight “feature lighting masts” costing £373,000 were erected along Royal Avenue.
The project also involved replacing the paving with natural stone, discrete CCTV and an art installation, which is a new iconic landmark for the city.
There were a record number of entries to the awards, with 560 projects entered— 48 shortlisted for the Grand Final.
Judging Chairman, David Tuffin, said: “The carefully considered design of the new streetscape has dramatically enhanced the experience and outlook for visitors, increased footfall and time spent.
“The end result has transformed the city centre and encouraged further sustainable private sector investment.”
RICS Northern Ireland Director, Ben Collins, said that he was delighted to have a Northern Ireland winner at the Grand Final event.