Established in 1996, the Greater Shankill Partnership (GSP) is a community led regeneration agency in the Greater Shankill area of Belfast. GSP’s Board brings together community, elected and private sector representatives, along with public sector officials.
The Partnership operates at 3 levels:
As its core, GSP facilitates and co-ordinates regeneration efforts in the area; at the heart of which is Neighbourhood Renewal.
In 2008 GSP published a Strategic Regeneration Framework and the first Greater Shankill Neighbourhood Action Plan; the culmination of more than two years work by Task Groups across nine regeneration themes, facilitated by the Partnership. The Action Plan is regularly reviewed by the Partnership and Task Groups.
GSP is also used as a touchstone by various public agencies for their policies and proposals affecting the area, and in this regard, GSP provides a mechanism to test and garner community views and priorities.
GSP’s operations and projects also seek to drive forward a regeneration agenda for the area, ranging from Early Years / Surestart; Integrated Services for Children and Young People; Health and Wellbeing development; Community Education and of course Neighbourhood Renewal itself.
The Greater Shankill Property Development Company runs the Spectrum Centre, a venue for arts and culture, and GSP’s Early Years Company provides day care for young children.
GSP links the Greater Shankill to wider initiatives in adjacent communities and across Belfast. The Belfast Area Partnerships (BAPs) connects GSP to Belfast’s other four area-based Partnerships across the city. Health Action Zone Council membership connects GSP with Agencies, Public Bodies and Area Partnerships at a senior level in Belfast, facilitating policy development, planning and joint initiatives to address deprivation in the City.
GSP was a key partner in the West Belfast and Greater Shankill Task Forces, established in 2001 to address poverty and employability in these communities. A number of recommendations in the Task Forces Reports have been implemented, e.g. Job Assist Centres and the Task Forces negotiated a major investment programme for the areas, the Integrated Development Fund, of £21m between 2004 – 2009.
A recent initiative, funded by the Big Lottery and led by Belfast City Council also involves all 5 Area Partnerships in a community planning pilot around the theme of health.
GSP presently represents all five Area Partnerships in the City Council’s “Belfast in Europe” group.