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Mayor Gavin Robinson backs move to revitalise Belfast's 'Folktown'

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Thomas Frazer from Ligoniel, who finished fourth (02:26:24) pictured with the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Alderman Gavin Robinson.

Thomas Frazer from Ligoniel, who finished fourth (02:26:24) pictured with the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Alderman Gavin Robinson.

Thomas Frazer from Ligoniel, who finished fourth (02:26:24) pictured with the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Alderman Gavin Robinson.

BELFAST business people have teamed up with artists and faith groups to revitalise and regenerate one of the city's oldest spaces.

A Department of Social Development refurbishment scheme is the centrepiece of a series of initiatives for the Bank Square, King Street and Castle Street area, known locally as 'Folktown'.

The area is home to the Mourne Seafood Bar, pub Kelly's Cellars, arts organisations and small traders.

It is home to the city's first Catholic church, St Mary's, built and partly funded by its neighbouring Presbyterian church.

Now the community has proposed a weekly market to be a catalyst for economic change.

The Folktown Initiative is run by the local community through Folktown CIC. Funds generated through the new market will be channelled back into the area.

Joby Fox, director of Folktown CIC, said that the area has the potential to become as important as the Cathedral Quarter.

He said: "It never ceases to amaze me the shared past we have here, and how well work together. The Presbyterian church which helped fund its neighbour, the Catholic chapel, is a part of our history that people need to know about."

Lord Mayor Gavin Robinson added: "If there is a chance to support and build on the good cross-community and cross-cultural relations that there are, and also the relations between businesses, restaurants, cafes and bars – encouraging all that goes on in Bank Square and supporting it – I think has huge potential for Folktown and is something that I am keen to support."

The Folktown community is launching the new regeneration initiative tomorrow in Berry Street Presbyterian Church.

Belfast Telegraph


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