Belfast Telegraph

Peter Robinson Belfast leisure centre to be renamed

The leisure centre in Castlereagh at the centre of a naming controversy
The leisure centre in Castlereagh at the centre of a naming controversy

Belfast City Council is to rename the Robinson Centre leisure facility.

The Robinson Centre in Castlereagh, east Belfast, is undergoing a regeneration costing £20m which will see a state-of-the-art facility open on the Montgomery Road site.

However, SDLP and Sinn Fein representatives have pushed for the centre to be renamed saying it went against Belfast City Council's naming policy.

The council argued that as the centre named after the former first minister and DUP leader was not new and instead a refurbishment, the name would stay.

The council's Strategic Policy and Resources committee met on Friday to debate the matter.

Subject to full council ratification, the centre will now be named the Lisnasharragh Leisure Centre.

SDLP activist Seamas de Faoite started a petition to get the name removed.

"Our leisure facilities should be welcoming places for ratepayers of every background," he said.

"This will be a busy centre at the heart of a rapidly growing and diversifying community in south-east Belfast. The new name will reflect the centre’s location, rather than anything else.

"No political party should be allowed to stake a claim on our civic space by naming it after its own members. There's no room for political ego-trips in 2019.

“This was an issue that had been forgotten. I’m glad that we were able to put it back on the agenda, ensuring that genuine voices of concern were heard. Over 500 people signed our petition on the issue.

“I will continue to champion politics and policies that respond to the needs of people across our community.”

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