Contain Yourself, all has been revealed at Holywood Arches!

EastSide Container Park is the latest addition to the east Belfast landscape. The previously derelict site at 392-400 Newtownards Road has been transformed with landscaping, planting, street furniture and shipping containers and today Landmark East, along with funders and partners, celebrated the completion of the project and full occupancy of the containers.

Landmark East, part of EastSide Partnership, purchased the derelict site and secured £410,000 from the Urban Villages Initiative under the Northern Ireland Executive’s Together Building a United Community Strategy to develop the site. The Department for Communities were responsible for the delivery of the project.

EastSide Container Park features new landscaping and street furniture which have significantly improved the physical environment in the Holywood Arches area and provided a space for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Towering over the green space are the five grey and yellow shipping containers, which are now fully occupied by two very different tenants.

Sustrans, the charity promoting cycling and walking, has established an Active Travel Hub in the container park. They are using this hub as a base to encourage commuters in east Belfast to try alternatives to the car such as public transport or cycling and walking. This is the perfect location for them given that it is adjacent to C.S. Lewis Square and at the intersection of both the Comber and Connswater Community Greenways, as well as being very well served by public transport including the new Glider, when it arrives later this year.

Pot Kettle Black, a brand-new restaurant which opened in April, has taken up occupancy in the four remaining containers, initially on a 12 week pop-up basis, serving delicious brunch and dinner. The owners of Pot Kettle Black have chosen to establish their new business in this quirky location in east Belfast, which highlights the impact of recent investment in the area, not least by the EastSide Visitor Centre, Connswater Community Greenway and new businesses in Connswater Shopping Centre and Retail Park.

Additional funding from Northern Ireland Executive’s Urban Villages Initiative enabled EastSide Partnership to engage local artist Dee Craig, in collaboration with Montreal based artist Irish Nowa, to create the Luminaries and Legends artwork in the container park which celebrates well-known east Belfast people and places.

Mark Browne, The Executive Office’s Director of Strategic Policy, Equality & Good Relations, commented:

“The EastSide Container Park transforms a previously derelict site into a thriving shared space for the community. It starts a new chapter and hopefully will be a major asset not just for locals but visitors to the area also.

The £410,000 financial backing from the Executive Office through the Urban Village Initiative shows this is a project we really believe in. I pay tribute to Maurice Kinkead and everyone involved with the EastSide Partnership. They have done a phenomenal job making innovative use of space, helping to create an attractive and thriving place.

EastSide is one of five Urban Village areas and is a great example of what can happen through partnership working and collaboration. I wish the new tenants, the local community and everyone connected with EastSide Container Park every success for the future."

Maurice Kinkead, Chief Executive of EastSide Partnership, added:

"The aim of Landmark East is to contribute to the physical regeneration of east Belfast by buying run- down or derelict properties or sites in disadvantaged areas and bringing them back into positive use. The development of the Holywood Arches area is central to our Landmark East strategy so we were very pleased to secure the funding to develop the site at 392-400 Newtownards Road, now known as EastSide Container Park. We are heartened that we have been able to secure such diverse tenants and look forward to continue to work with them on partnership projects that animate and invigorate the area.”