Why are some of the most deprived areas in Northern Ireland located a stone’s throw from the city centre?

Why are some of the most deprived areas in Northern Ireland located a stone’s throw from the city centre?

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Whilst Belfast has progressed dramatically in the past 20 years yet pockets of the city still remain impacted by a legacy of conflict resulting in a major lack of investment. 

The areas in grey fall within the top 10% most deprived wards (or areas) in Northern Ireland. 

Given their proximity to the jobs, infrastructure and opportunities that the city centre brings this seems crazy. 

Anyone connected with Belfast has seen the physical transformation of the city centre, there are new shops, hotels and cranes on the skyline. More than that, anyone that has been in the city centre can feel the change. There are tourists wandering around, there is a lively bar and music scene – it’s an exciting place to be. A city to be proud of.

Why then does the transformation stop so abruptly?

Well, inner city Belfast suffered two major blows in its recent history.

  1. The loss of heavy industry and deindustrialization (10% Reduction each decade between 1950 & 1990) – this happened in many cities in the ‘western world’ that had a strong industrial heritage. 
  2. This was compounded by the ‘Troubles’ which had a profound impact on these areas due to their proximity to the city centre and interface areas – these were some of the areas that bore the brunt of the conflict. Adding to that the development of infrastructure that has created a ‘shatter zone’ that separates these areas from the city centre. 

This led to residents leaving in extremely high numbers – Population decline was the highest in Europe at the time for cities of a similar size (Belfast City Report, Jorg Ploger, 2007)

The end result is that this created a cycle of deprivation – less people, less investment and ultimately less hope. The prevailing wisdom is that these are not areas that are worth investing in.

Cornerstone sees things differently, Cornerstone sees the potential in these areas and the value that the right sort of development would create which is why the next chapter of its business is focusing on regeneration.

To find out what they are up to have a look here____ or contact info@cornerstoneni.com if you share our passion for regeneration and want to find out more.

N.B. You can look on the NISRA website here to see the interactive map showing all the data relating to deprivation across the country; https://www.ninis2.nisra.gov.uk/InteractiveMaps/Deprivation/Deprivation%202017/SOA_Deprivation_Map/atlas.html

Daniel Jackson

Daniel Jackson


Daniel is passionate about the potential for design and innovation in property development and construction to transform spaces, regenerate communities and enhance people’s lives and wellbeing. A champion of change and progression in the industry throughout Northern Ireland Daniel brings a wealth of insight and experience to every project from bespoke homes to city regeneration schemes.

Cornerstone construction specialise in creating bespoke and environmentally friendly homes, unique development sites and commercial projects.

Cornerstone NI Ltd, Innovation Factory, 385 Springfield Road, Belfast, BT12 7DG

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