Ceremony to Mark the Official Opening of Phase 2 of the Hanwood Project - Hanwood Business Park
The First Minister of Northern Ireland, the Right Honourable Peter Robinson MP MLA was today the guest of honour at the official opening of Hanwood Business Park, which is Phase 2 of the Hanwood Project, Tullycarnet. It is envisaged the business park will facilitate the creation and development of community businesses and to date has already created full time employment for over 40 people.
The event was also attended by the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Arlene Foster MLA, the Mayor of Castlereagh, Councillor Lawrence Walker, Anne Henderson from the International Fund for Ireland, Alan Shannon, Permanent Secretary of the Department for Social Development, Brian Rowntree, Chairman of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and David Hassard, Chairman of the Hanwood Trust.
A funding package of £961,120 from Castlereagh Borough Council, £871,035 from the International Fund for Ireland, £800,000 from the Department for Social Development, £317,971 from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, and the land was donated by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive with a current value of £2 million, has secured this major investment.
The official opening marks the completion of Phase 2 of the Hanwood Project, which has constructed 25 business units and helped create affordable workspace for the development of community businesses, social enterprise and the relocation of existing businesses. The business park is already employing 33 part time and 41 full time people, 30 of which are living within a 5 mile radius of the facility.
Phase 1 of Hanwood Project was completed in 2005, providing a Community Resource Centre comprising of office space, meeting rooms and a 24 station I.T. suite. Phase 3 will develop a state of the art third generation synthetic sports pitch, changing facilities and community gymnasium. Phase 4 will consist of a filling station, mini market and four retail units. The total cost for this substantial development will be in the region of £10 - £12 million.
The Hanwood Business Park (Phase 2) will encourage the creation, adoption and development of an enterprise culture and entrepreneurship within Tullycarnet and the surrounding area. It aims to create high levels of sustainable local employment through the provision of job opportunities in the enterprise units and to attract further inward investment to the area.
Speaking at the launch, the Mayor of Castlereagh, Councillor Lawrence Walker said, "I am delighted to be associated with the official opening of Hanwood Business Park. The Council motto is to ‘Create and Conserve' and by supporting this project, we have helped ‘create' business, employment and local services, as well as helped ‘conserve' a prosperous future for the local people of Castlereagh who will avail of the facilities.
The achievements at Hanwood are testament to partnerships working together for a mutually beneficial goal, which will create a meaningful change to the heart of local communities in Tullycarnet and the surrounding area."
The First Minister of Northern Ireland, the Right Honourable Peter Robinson MP MLA said, "This is an excellent example of a holistic response to an identified need. The board comprises of local community, business, statutory and elected representatives. The funding package again has contributions from Government departments, council, N.I.H.E and the International Fund for Ireland. The result of the wide support for this project is a facility of value to the local community, bringing much value and real opportunities for the development of community business. The Hanwood scheme is internationally recognised as an example to be followed by others."
Anne Henderson, Board Member of the International Fund for Ireland, which contributed £871,035 towards the establishment of Hanwood Business Park, said: "The International Fund for Ireland has a track record of supporting projects which help to promote sustainable social and economic advance. The Fund also has a long and successful history of working with the Hanwood Trust Ltd - having previously supported Phase One of the Hanwood Project which opened in 2005.
As a Board Member of the International Fund for Ireland, I have the privilege of attending many launches and official openings, and I am always amazed at the commitment, passion and input shown by funded groups to their local projects. It is great to see and indeed to acknowledge the tremendous effort that has gone into the creation of Hanwood Business Park.
I know that today's event marks an important milestone in the overall Hanwood Project, which has been ongoing for more than a decade and will help the local community to achieve its full potential and maximize the opportunities that are now available as a result of peace."
Alan Shannon, Permanent Secretary from the Department for Social Development said, "The Minister for Social Development, Margaret Ritchie MLA commends the work of the Hanwood Trust and the people of Tullycarnet on the successful opening of this Business Park which will bring much needed physical and economic regeneration to the area.
This is an excellent example of the benefits which can be achieved when statutory bodies work together in partnership with local people to improve the quality of life for the entire community."
Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster MLA said: "Hanwood Business Park is an excellent example of what can be achieved through partnership for the benefit of the local community. Under the Building Sustainable Prosperity programme, my Department provided financial support for this project to further strengthen the economic infrastructure in the area. I am particularly encouraged that even in the current economic climate all 25 units are fully let, demonstrating the demand for high-quality and versatile business units."
Commenting on the Northern Ireland Housing Executive's involvement with the project, Brian Rowntree, Chairman said," The Housing Executive is extremely proud to have been partners in this project. The provision of lands for a community regeneration project of this quality and scale provides a positive platform to take forward enhanced measures for community sustainability in this area. People and Place are critical to our purposes of Home and Community."
David Hassard, Chairman of the Hanwood Trust commented, "I am absolutely delighted for the people of Tullycarnet and Castlereagh. The Hanwood Board, since its inception in 1997 has worked to tackle social and economic issues as highlighted in the Noble Indices, specifically in areas such as unemployment, health and education. I would like to pay tribute to the former Chairperson, the Right Honourable Peter Robinson MP MLA for his vision, commitment and support in respect of this highly innovative project and also to past and present Hanwood Board members for their contribution and finally our main funders Northern Ireland Housing Executive, Castlereagh Borough Council, International Fund for Ireland, Department for Social Development and Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment."
For further information about our funding programmes, or for information on how to apply for funding, please contact the person(s) or organisation(s) identifed at the end of the relevant programme summary in the areas of activity section.
International Fund for Ireland
28-32 Alfred St.
+44 (0)28 9031 2884