22nd March 2023: 7.30pm
How to Regenerate Forgotten Spaces
Join us for this panel discussion as we consider regeneration initiatives in Belfast and the results of the festival’s ‘Forgotten Spaces’ competition organised in association with Liminal Belfast.
Chaired by Chris McCracken and sponsored by Linen Quarter BID, we will look at our current position, how we can learn from the experience of other cities and look at ways to revive our wonderful city.
Speakers include Sean Dolan, Senior Development Manager, Belfast City Council; Seamus Connolly, Group Manager, Neighbourhoods, Regeneration and Sustainability, Glasgow City Council; as well as Meadhbh McIlgorm, artist and curator of the Forgotten Spaces project.
We will reflect on and announce the winners of the public vote from the Forgotten Spaces online exhibition – a £100 cash prize from a selection of submissions which our event audience will be able to hear about and allocate prizes to via live voting.
There will be plenty of time for audience engagement.
Christopher McCracken: Chris is Managing Director and Company Secretary of the Linen Quarter BID, a democratically elected business group that represents 350 organisations from a diverse range of sectors. He has led the organisation since inception in Feb 2018, pioneering all aspects of strategic and operational development in conjunction with the locally appointed Board. Chris is a consistent advocate for the regeneration of his native city, and is a member of the Belfast Sustainability and Resilience Board. His regular opinion pieces have been published in all three Belfast dailies and online.Chris previously spent 20 years in the public sector where his roles included Head of City Operations in Westminster, and Programme Manager for Belfast’s City Centre Strategy. He has a history degree from University of Nottingham and a post-graduate business diploma from Henley.
Seamus Connolly: Seamus Connolly is the Group Manager for Parks Development & Bereavement Services at Glasgow City Council overseeing delivery of key council strategies including the Food Growing Strategy, Local Biodiversity Action Plan, Green Connectors and the Tree Action Plan. With a background in horticulture, employability programmes and environmental regeneration he leads a multi-disciplinary team within the Neighbourhood, Regeneration and Sustainability Service of the council. Seamus previously initiated, developed and delivered the multi awarding winning Stalled Spaces Project which placed community involvement and empowerment at the heart of the process. Subsequently rolled out across Scotland the initiative exemplified what can be achieved with collaboration with communities, landowners and a local council. Seamus, in his free time is also a budding author with one book recently published and a second to follow shortly.
Meadhbh McIlgorm: Meadhbh is a multi-disciplinary artist-maker of both things and experiences. She studied Craft Design (glass) and History of Art at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, graduating in 2013. Her work is proces-led with a material-centred approach to intangible concepts, liminal states and ephemeral phenomena. Originally from Dublin, she has been living and working in Belfast since 2015 after completing an MA in Arts Management in Queen’s University. This experience in the cultural sector has contributed to her expanded studio practice via the curatorial production of events with other artists and organisations most notably the Liminal (space) Belfast project of exhibitions and artworks in ‘inbetween’ spaces of the city which she began in 2020.