Newtownards Road Heritage Trail set to celebrate east Belfast’s rich history

EastSide Partnership is set to celebrate east Belfast’s rich history with the development of the Newtownards Road Heritage Trail. The trail will celebrate the industrial, social, cultural, religious and political heritage of the Newtownards Road from Holywood Arches to Bridge End.

The Newtownards Road Heritage Trail will help people to strengthen connections with, and learn more about the unique heritage in their community. It will celebrate a number of heritage sites including C.S. Lewis Square, the former Inglis’ Bakery, Connswater Bridge, the former Strand Spinning Mill and murals along the 1km stretch of road. The trail will also highlight 'ghost signs' found along the Newtownards Road, offering a unique glimpse to the past as well as an opportunity to showcase how the nature of businesses, buildings and the social context has changed over the years.

Development of the trail has been made possible with support from the Community Heritage Fund, a fund helping people in Northern Ireland to connect with their local heritage, from the Department for Communities and The National Heritage Fund and the Urban Villages Initiative; a key action within the Northern Ireland Executive’s ‘Together: Building a United Community’ Strategy. It is designed to improve good relations outcomes and to help develop thriving places where there has previously been a history of deprivation and community tension.

EastSide Partnership hope to launch the Newtownards Road Heritage Trail in late March 2021 and copies will be available from EastSide Visitor Centre and online at

Chris Armstrong, EastSide Partnership said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this Community Heritage Fund grant from the Department for Communities and The National Lottery Heritage Fund. The Newtownards Road is synonymous with east Belfast and is steeped in industrial, social, cultural, religious and political heritage. Our Newtownards Road Heritage Trail will celebrate these stories and encourage visitors and locals to look up. Using the principals of heritage-led regeneration, our project will increase footfall and breathe new life into this iconic stretch of road, enabling this living heritage landmark to continue to thrive for years to come.”

Paul Mullan, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Our local places have become more important than ever throughout this pandemic, and through this fund, we hope to encourage people to get to know their local heritage that bit better.

“We’re grateful to the Department for Communities for providing the funding and we’re delighted to fund a diverse range of projects which will make a huge impact on many communities across Northern Ireland.”

To find out more about The National Lottery Heritage Fund visit:

To find out more about the Urban Villages Initiative visit: