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Artist's impression - Sam Thompson Bridge

New foot and cycle bridge in Belfast park to be named after local playwright

10 October 2013

A public vote has decided that a new landmark pedestrian and cycle footbridge to be installed in Belfast's Victoria Park this weekend should be named the Sam Thompson Bridge, after a local playwright.

The 62 metre crossing will provide a much needed connection from Victoria Park to Airport Road, linking to the Harbour Estate and Titanic Quarter, and is part of the work on the Connswater Community Greenway project.

Sam Thompson was a local East Belfast man who worked in the shipyard. As a trade unionist and playwright, he was concerned with social issues and the effects these had on the people of Belfast.

Anne McMurray, Chair of the Name the Bridge Panel said: “The panel had a really tough decision in short-listing five names that were appropriate and relevant to the site of the new bridge. The panel has been overwhelmed by the volume of interest in this campaign from the public.

The Connswater Community Greenway project, developed by the East Belfast Partnership, is one of three ‘Living Landmark’ projects in the UK and is funded by the Big Lottery Fund, Belfast City Council and the Department for Social Development and represents a £35 million investment in the east of the city, connecting people and places by creating a 9km linear park from the Castlereagh Hills to Belfast Harbour Estate.

Plans for the bridge were unveiled earlier this year as work in Victoria and Orangefield Parks commenced.

The next phase of construction includes the construction of a new civic square at Holywood Arches and is due to begin in spring 2014.

The steel bowstring bridge cost approximately £500,000 to construct and has been finished with LED lighting that can change colour. It is anticipated that the bridge will be open to the public by the end of the year.

For more information on the project, or to follow the construction progress, visit www.communitygreenway.co.uk.  

Belfast City & Greater Belfast News

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