A visionary sports scheme in South Belfast has created a unique shared space which aims to help build peace and reconciliation in communities across Northern Ireland and the border areas.
Situated on a formerly restricted 16-hectare site at Newforge, facilities have been transformed through delivery of a 5,286m2 sports and leisure complex which includes a sports hall, fitness suites, treatment rooms, changing facilities, and office & conference space.
The vision behind the Newforge Shared Space is to contribute to a more cohesive society by actively promoting the inclusion of marginalised groups, facilitating meaningful cross-community interactions, and providing support to those impacted by adversity.
Hamilton Architects, in collaboration with Disability Sport NI, have developed a seamless and accessible experience for end users and staff. Every aspect, from the initial arrival point to internal circulation, has been meticulously developed, ensuring universal accessibility across the entire complex.
This inclusive facility caters to the public, youth groups, schools, churches, regional peace and reconciliation programs, as well as local and visiting sports clubs.
Helmed by Newforge Community Development Trust, the project was supported by funding from the EU’s PEACE IV Programme, with match-funding provided by the Department for Communities NI, the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland, and Sport Northern Ireland’s Multi-Facility Fund.