Townsend Street in Belfast has a rich history, and this year the Ulster Orchestra, Townsend Enterprise Park and Zeppo Arts are working on a new project explores that history as part of Belfast 2024. Belfast 2024 is an ambitious cultural celebration that will see the city come to life with creative projects, events and civic initiatives taking place across Belfast throughout the year.
On this page you can find out more about the Sound Links project and the way it will celebrate Townsend Street’s heritage. We will give a flavour of what’s in store and how we need your help.
Upcoming Consultation Sessions - All welcome
Thursday 7 March 2024, 10.30-12.00,
Townsend Enterprise Park, 28 Townsend Street, Belfast
Wednesday 13 March 2024, 10.30-12.00,
New Life City Church café, Northumberland Street, Belfast
Townsend Street is one of only two points in the city where one can see the Farset River, the river that gave Belfast its name.
It also houses Townsend Enterprise Park and the former Townsend Presbyterian Church, which is now home to the Ulster Orchestra. In the past, the history of the street and its surroundings were buried by the degradation of the area and the legacy of Troubles-era interface gates.
Working together with the local community, residents and the businesses of Townsend Enterprise Park, the street will once again be firmly in the consciousness of the city.
Sound Links is a community-informed project that will culminate in a community-led celebration of the street and its people on International Peace Day in September 2024. Here at the Ulster Orchestra we’re also looking forward to our role in the project, introducing ourselves to the area, in addition to telling the story of a forgotten part of Belfast’s history.
We want Sound Links to celebrate the heritage of the area. We have already commissioned three new works as part of the project, which will be performed at Townsend Street Church. There will be more details on those commissions in the coming weeks and months.
The final event on International Peace Day on 21 September is very much up for grabs: we’re keen to give ownership of what that should look, sound, and feel like to people in the surrounding area.
In addition, we’re sending out a call for people with memories of Townsend Street to get in touch, to share their reflections, recollections, anecdotes and stories. We’ll be setting up consultation workshops and community writing workshops, details of which we’ll update in this article and across our social media.
In the meantime, if you've got memories or ideas you'd like to share, please contact [email protected].