Hosted by Colin Neighbourhood Partnership and funded by the Urban Villages Initiative and Department for Communities this is the first event to be held in the Town Square. The new square forms part of a major investment in the Colin area which is being supported through the Urban Villages Initiative.
The full programme of entertainment included Santa arriving by Glider to illuminate the Christmas lights of the 40 ft. Norwegian Christmas tree. Santa was joined by Linsey Farrell, Urban Villages Initiative Programme Director for the official lights switch on. Special guests also included David Sterling, Head of Civil Service and Dr Mark Browne, The Executive Office, Director of Strategic Policy, Equality and Good Relations.
Santa greeted children in his Grotto in the new rapid transport hub which forms a vital part of the Belfast Rapid Transit project and has created a new and dynamic public transport system for the Colin area.
Crowds were kept entertained by carol singing from local school children and the Colin and EastSide community choirs. Festivities also included live music, adventure funhouse, games and seasonal arts and crafts.
Speaking at the event David Sterling, Head of Civil Service commented: “It’s at events such as this, when the community comes together, that you see the positive impact shared spaces can have. Colin Town Square will not only connect the people who live in this area, but also serve as a gateway to the wider city of Belfast.
The joined up nature of this project highlights the collaboration which is central to delivery of the Programme for Government. It shows Government working better together with the community, stakeholders and across government, delivering the things that have a real impact on people's quality of life.”
Mark Browne, The Executive Office added, “It’s been great to be here with you today to celebrate Christmas at this very first event on the new Colin Town Square. We could clearly see tonight how this development is already impacting positively on people's lives and beginning the visible transformation of the Colin area.”
John Paul Russell, Arts and Cultural Development Officer, Colin Neighbourhood Partnership commented: “This has been our biggest Christmas event to date. The new Town Square is an exciting new development for the Colin area and we look forward to using the space for future public events and community activities.”