Skainos gets underway
Work has begun on the £21m Skainos urban regeneration project in east Belfast after the contract was awarded to Farrans Construction.
Skainos grew out of the work of East Belfast Mission and has been in development for 10 years.
As well as social and affordable housing, the development will feature community facilities, retail and commercial space, a day nursery and café and a new church.
“We are delighted to announce that Skainos will go ahead,” said James Brown, vice chair of |Skainos. “Particularly with the recent news of significant cuts in the capital budget for Northern Ireland.”
The project is funded by the European Union’s Peace III Programme, the International Fund for Ireland and East Belfast Mission as well as the Department for Social Development. Social Development Minister Alex Attwood said: “When complete, this significant development will help address the high levels of dereliction along one of Belfast’s main arterial routes.
“It will bring about physical, economic, social and community renewal through the provision of much needed services to East Belfast. With the delivery of high quality energy efficient housing the Skainos development will make a positive impact on waiting lists in one of the most disadvantaged areas in Belfast.
“I am pleased it has finally reached the construction stage and commend both the project and its partners. It is an excellent example of what can be achieved through collaboration between a range of agencies and local people.”
Construction began last Wednesday, November 3, with completion due in July 2012.