The Cathedral Quarter is the heart of the old city of Belfast. The area has a village feel with cobbled streets and narrow alleyways. The quarter still retains some of Belfast’s oldest buildings and thoroughfares, including Waring Street and Hill Street.
The Cathedral Quarter was the centre of Belfast’s trade and warehousing district, which sprung up directly from the prosperous linen and shipbuilding industries. From the outbreak of the Troubles and the loss of manufacturing industry in the later 1960s, the area fell into decline.
The area formed a part of the redevelopment brief of Laganside Corporation. Laganside Corporation was a non-departmental public body formed by the Laganside Development (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 with the goal of regenerating large sections of land in Belfast along the River Lagan. This development area was expanded in 1996 to include areas closer to the city centre. Their sponsored initiatives included a ‘Managed Workspace’ scheme, for artists.
This piece charts the development of a derelict historic landscape containing a handful of people with ideas which were to make Cathedral Quarter a reality for the city.