Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Viewpoint: More food for thought?

Leading chef Niall McKenna is entirely correct in his call for the authorities to encourage further revitalisation of Belfast city centre.

Mr McKenna, proprietor of the award-winning James Street South restaurant, believes opening up the city centre with greater living space will trigger further development of desirable character.

A vibrant city centre bustling with people would, as he tells the Belfast Telegraph today, generate a virtuous circle of lively streets, good bars and great restaurants.

That, in turn, will further stimulate arts, crafts and music venues and make the city centre more visitor-friendly.

Belfast is improving as an urban environment, and credit is due to all who play a role in this. But as we await the blossoming of Titanic and Cathedral quarters,the city centre must not be overlooked.

More living accommodation and greater imagination in how we use existing space would help rejuvenate the central business district in the evenings, and ease pressure on the 'Golden Mile' entertainments zone.

Mr McKenna is also right when he says the city needs more good restaurants (although he modestly leaves himself off the list of Belfast's finest chefs). The wonderful produce in our seas and farmlands are testament to this.

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