Black Mountain Shared Space is primarily a good relations project, we aim to work with people in our catchment area to build relationships, breakdown barriers, build capacity in people and communities. Our work involves single identity and cross community work with men, women, young people and families. We do this through direct delivery and partnerships with other local community organisations
Updates from BMSSP
WHERE IT ALL STARTED
BMSSP was set up in 2009 and formally constituted in 2013. It is a cross-community partnership operating across a contentious interface in the West Belfast area. It has worked to build relationships with people living on both sides of the dividing peace wall through community-based initiatives and by conducting critical conversations with key influencers on both sides of the wall. The work is sensitive and must constantly respond to changes in the political environment. BMSSP has reached some of the most vulnerable members of the communities in terms of conflict legacy and poverty/marginalisation. More than 3,000 people completed peacebuilding and/or community capacity building activity over 2018/2019 while over 1,000 people engaged in these opportunities for the first time. As a result, hundreds of people have crossed the peace line for the first time.
A major achievement for BMSSP is that it has now reached the stage where there is strong cross-community, cross-political and agency support for a Shared Space capital build initiative that will deliver a community facility, environmental hub (drawing on the unique location adjacent to the scenic Black Mountain) and community enterprise units to bring local work and services to the area, an essential part of regeneration and reconciliation. Both communities will benefit from the new shared community hub which will breach the current peace structure in several places.
The community-owned Shared Space hub will offer an environmental link into the proposed Belfast City Council greenway into Belfast City centre. In addition, local communities will be able to avail of shared training, education, recreation, children and youth facilities, multi-arts spaces and meeting space, and have access to jobs and services.