Development through inclusive engagement
Belfast Stories is committed to engaging with stakeholders and in 2022 held a 14-week public consultation to raise awareness in communities about what the project is and find out how they would like to be involved. Working with the design teams, the project will agree an ongoing engagement plan, establish agreed inclusive design principles for the project, and identify opportunities for co-design and user input. This will ensure more impactful investment and the development of a high-quality accessible place.
An Equity Steering Group was established in 2022 to ensure the voices of people and communities that are often excluded from decision-making processes are heard. The group includes people from different faith, political and cultural backgrounds, people from ethnic minorities and the LGBTQIA+ community, neurodiverse people, disabled people, older and younger people, and carers and people with dependants. Its purpose is to ensure that everyone has the same opportunity to take part in Belfast Stories, from helping to make the design of the building and its experiences more accessible, to identifying ‘missing voices’ and co-producing engagement opportunities.
Belfast Stories contributes to placemaking by growing the local economy and enabling a renewed, vibrant city centre where people want to live, work, visit and invest. By amplifying local voices and strengthening connections, it stands as a transformative development that can drive inclusive growth across the lifecycle of the investment for the benefit of local people.
Photograph by William Murphy, CC BY-NC 2.0