Belfast Telegraph

Football legend Elisha and city's first female Lord Mayor in mix as voting to name new road begins

By Lauren Harte

Belfast residents are being urged to cast their vote to name a new stretch of road leading to Olympia Leisure Centre.

The first leisure centre in Belfast to feature a luxury spa opened last January and is almost double the size of its predecessor, built in 1983.

The completion of new external sport and leisure facilities followed in June this year, including a 3G pitch, play park and multi-use games area.

In addition, a new tree-lined boulevard was created to lead to the centre from Boucher Road, and a new pedestrian entrance, known as the 'John Stewart Bell entrance', was created off Olympia Drive.

The road also provides access to the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park and Linfield Football Club's practice pitch at Midgley Park.

Now the council wants the public to vote for their favourite name for this new entrance road created as part of the development from Boucher Road to the Olympia.

This follows a similar vote recently to name various elements of the Connswater Community Greenway.

Following a public call in March, the council received 170 suggested names collated from 531 entries, which were whittled down to allow people to vote for their favourite.

Among the shortlisted names is Elisha Scott Boulevard, in honour of the Belfast-born former Linfield, Belfast Celtic, Northern Ireland and Liverpool goalkeeper.

SDLP councillor Donal Lyons put forward the legendary footballer as a candidate.

He said: "The 125th anniversary of Elisha Scott's birth will be on the 24th of this month, just days after the vote to name this road closes.

"I can think of no better way of celebrating his achievements than by naming this road after him in an area he was proud to call home.

"That would be fitting in itself, but it may also inspire new generations who are using it to access the new football pitches and leisure centre."

Also in the running is Grace Bannister Way, to recognise the contribution of Belfast's first female Lord Mayor, who was elected in 1981.

Mrs Bannister, a UUP councillor, is remembered in the city for her dedicated service on several school boards.

She was also the high sheriff of Belfast from 1979-1980.

Other names in the mix include Boucher Boulevard, to echo road names in the local area; Legends Way, to reflect the number of sporting legends from the city; Olympia Boulevard, linking the range of leisure facilities to adjacent streets; and Windsor Way, reflecting the close proximity to the football stadium.

The public vote opened on Monday.

Votes can be submitted online, by email, by post or at a series of venues in the area before Sunday, August 19.

Belfast Telegraph

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