Shankill Population on the Rise

DSD Minister Mervyn Storey announced another 22 social & affordable homes for the Lawnbrook area at the Greater Shankill Housing Convention yesterday.

Speaking at the Convention, Minister Storey committed his Department to ensuring that the bad days of redevelopment are behind the Shankill. He made a personal commitment to the area, which he has now visited four times since his appointment last September. The Minister also stated that he is in contact with Minister John O'Dowd to see what can be done jointly to save Malvern Primary School.

Opening the Convention on behalf of the Agreed Agenda Group, Jackie Redpath called for a new Housing Strategy for Greater Shankill to build a sustainable community and address the issue of vacant sites. It was noted that for the first time in four decades, the Greater Shankill population has consistently risen over the last four years.

The Convention also noted achievements on the housing front since it last met as a Housing Convention in 2011: in Battenberg St (54 homes & 22 announced by Minister); Lower Shankill (33 & further 21 in pipeline); Woodvale (89); Ainsworth ( 5/6 to be built); Lower Oldpark ( 26 derelicts refurbished & 10/12 planned) and the Somervale development, after 12 years of struggle.


Eat yourself healthy with nutritionist Jane McLenaghan

Are you sick of eating greasy bags of chips or microwave meals from a plastic tray?  Maybe you're trying to make a healthy change in your life and need some info on how to start eating better?

Whatever you need, nutritionist Jane McLenaghan wants to help you maintain an optimal balance of health and wellness - no fad diets, crazy quick fixes or extreme diet makeovers - instead, you'll make practical, positive changes to help you eat well and feel better.

The event is 100% free and completely open, with no need to book a spot - just turn up!  We'll see you on December 12th at 10:00AM in the Hammer Community Centre.


Press Statement: Children and Young People Zone


Shankill political and community leaders have welcomed the backing of five Government Ministers for the Greater Shankill Children & Young People Zone, which will transform the lives of one generation of Shankill children.

The Zone, which was designated by the Shankill’s Community Convention on Tuesday, received wholehearted Government endorsement, at a high level meeting in the historic Committee Room 21, in Parliament Buildings, where the first Northern Ireland Executive met.

Education Minister John O’Dowd described the Zone as “inspirational” and pledged to “play my part in supporting your work” to enhance the life chances of Shankill’s children and young people.

Minister of Social Development Nelson McCausland said, "My officials will work with the local community and their representatives to assist them in the development and delivery of plans for the Children & Young People Zone."

In an unprecedented move three other Government Ministers, David Ford, Caral Ni Chuilin and Edwin Poots also pledged their support.

“This is a red letter day for the Shankill” said the area’s M.P. Nigel Dodds.  To have one Government Department backing the Zone would be good; to have five is unprecedented and very, very welcome.  From this base we can move forward”.

Illustrating across-the-board support among Shankill politicians for the Zone, Councillor Billy Hutchinson stated, “this community has worked for this for two decades and it will take twenty years to realize its full impact.  This is not a quick fix, it is a generational approach and that is what is needed”.

Jackie Redpath for the Shankill’s Agreed Agenda Group said, “today we have opened the door on a generation of opportunity for this generation of our children and grand-children.  We have declared Shankill unlimited open for business”.