New Year, new look for Mount Vernon

Two of Belfast’s most infamous murals are currently being removed in a pioneering project aimed at building good relations and community spirit in the Mount Vernon area.

New Year, new look for Mount Vernon

Ross House, Mount Vernon

The façade of Ross House is being transformed in the ‘Ready for Change’ strategy and, as well as the removal of two murals, a new lighting feature will be installed by the Housing Executive at the building as part of the wider scheme which will eventually transform the area.

Developed by Mount Vernon Community Development Forum, Sean Brennan Associates and the Paul Hogarth Company, the strategy has been carefully drawn together following months of research and consultation with local residents, the Housing Executive and the EU PEACE III funded Building Relationships in Communities (bric) Programme.

Speaking at the reimaging site, local resident Amanda Ash said: “It is time for change in Mount Vernon.

“This is a resident led approach to us changing the way our estate is portrayed to the outside world. Our children deserve a better future.”

Sean Brennan, who has been working with the Mount Vernon residents to implement the Ready for Change strategy said:

“This marks the culmination of months of dialogue, consultation and discussion with a variety of stakeholders and is an enormous step forward for the area.

“This project is unique as the murals are not being replaced or renewed. Instead, they are being completely removed signifying a whole new outlook for the area as part of the overall ‘Ready for Change’ strategy.

“This is just the first step in a series of projects for the area and in the coming weeks and months we are all looking forward to seeing further progressive and positive impacts in Mount Vernon.”

The reimaging work, which began on January 15, is being filmed by Mutiny Filmhouse as part of the EU PEACE III funded bric Programme and will be unveiled in the near future at a special launch event in the area.

Kerry McIvor, bric Programme Manager, said:

“The bric Programme is currently involved in a range of training activities, community events and reimaging projects across the province.

“We are delighted to be able to play a part and support this excellent project in Mount Vernon and look forward to the ‘Ready for Change’ strategy being fully realised and implemented in the area.

“The bric Programme revolves around the central theme of the cultivation and building of community spirit and this venture in Mount Vernon certainly fulfils that very important criteria.”