Belfast Telegraph

Public vote for Victoria Park bridge name

By Kylie Noble

A SHORTLIST of five possible names for the new footbridge in Victoria Park has been unveiled to the public.

In July, the Connswater Community Greenway project asked the public to put forward ideas for the bridge's name. The response was extensive with the panel of judges narrowing it down to five shortlisted names.

Cranes Bridge reflects Belfast's industrial roots due to a clear view of the iconic Harland and Wolff cranes, Samson and Goliath from the new bridge. It is also hoped crane birds would be visible from the bridge.

The Sam Thompson Bridge was nominated in memory of the deceased east Belfast man. He was a trade unionist and worked in the Shipyard. He was also a playwright; his most famous work being 'Over the Bridge'.

The Island Bridge reflects how the bridge will link Victoria Park to Airport Bridge and subsequently to Queen's Island. The central part of the park is also an island.

Victoria (Vicky) Bridge reflects the park's name which locals often refer to as 'Vicky' park.

Avalon Bridge celebrates east Belfast's Van Morrison who penned an album called 'Avalon Sunset'. This album includes the track 'Orangefield' which is also on the Connswater Community Greenway route. 'Avalon' means 'mythical island'.

Plans for the unveiling of the bridge are part of phase 1 of the £35m Connswater Community Greenway (CCG) project which involves work in the Victoria and Orangefield Parks.

The bridge will provide for a greatly required connection from Victoria Park to Airport Road and also connect pedestrians to the Harbour Estate and Titanic Quarter.

Chair of the bridge naming panel, Anne McMurray commented: "First off I want to thank everyone who took the time to submit a bridge name. We had a fantastic response to 'Name the Bridge' and we gave careful consideration to all the submissions.

"As a panel we had to ensure that each short listed bridge name represents the values of the Connswater Community Greenway Project, and reflects a sense of place and significance to Victoria Park.

"The panel is unanimous about the final shortlist. Each one of these bridge names represents and offers something different, including the local links to the arts; the industrial heritage; the natural beauty of the area; and the sense of community.

"We believe that whichever bridge name that the public finally decide on will be the right one.

"Any of these bridge names will certainly leave a legacy and stand the test of time."

The decision now rests upon the public vote. Voting opens on Monday 9 September, 9am and will close on Wednesday 9 October at midnight.

Votes can be cast online at www.communitygreenway.co.uk/NametheBridge or in person by visiting one of the 'Name the Bridge' centres.

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