Additional funding for sculpture park project

Niamh Anne McNally from the Alpha Programme, Richard Rogers from Groundwork NI and Alderman Allan Ewart MBE with sculptors for phase two of the Belshaw's Quarry Sculpture Park project - Ngaire Jackson, Annahilt, Alan Burke, Newcastle and Helen Shields, Holywood.
Niamh Anne McNally from the Alpha Programme, Richard Rogers from Groundwork NI and Alderman Allan Ewart MBE with sculptors for phase two of the Belshaw's Quarry Sculpture Park project - Ngaire Jackson, Annahilt, Alan Burke, Newcastle and Helen Shields, Holywood.

Just weeks after the Alpha Programme announced its latest funding package for Belshaw’s Quarry Sculpture Park, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council has confirmed additional support for the second phase of the project.

The local authority has pledged £5,000 towards phase two of the sculpture park programme at the Bensons Road nature reserve, on the outskirts of Lisburn.

The money, which comes in addition to a £50,000 grant from the Alpha Programme, will be used to fund four new sculptures, bringing the total number of artworks in the park to 12.

Alderman Allan Ewart, Chair of the council’s Development Committee said: “I am delighted that Whitemountain & District Community Association has been successful in its application for a key supporting aspect of the project at Belshaw’s Quarry Nature Reserve and Sculpture Park. This project highlights how successful a local community association-led initiative can be and this second phase will bring greater tourism and educational visitors to the site to build on the success of the first phase of the sculpture park.”

Meanwhile, project co-ordinators Whitemountain & District Community Association have announced the names of the four sculptors to be involved in the second phase, which focuses on the link between the geology that can be seen at the site and how man has interacted with it since the stone age.

John Belshaw from the association commented: “Everyone in the area is extremely pleased that the otherwise disused Northern Ireland Environment Agency-owned site is seeing visitor numbers increase. The project on the Area of Special Scientific Interest is somewhat unique and NIEA, Alpha Programme and LCCC are to be commended for their continued support to the project.”

He continued: “I am very pleased to be able to announce the four sculptors for phase two - Ngaire Jackson from Annahilt, Helen Shields from Holywood, Kevin Killen from Downpatrick and Alan Burke from Newcastle.

“All four competed in a competitive tender process with designs that best conveyed the brief. The end result will see the whole project span 250 million years of geology, and how man, from stone age through to modern times, interacted with and used the materials that can be seen at the site.”

Richard Rogers from the Alpha Programme added: “The Alpha Programme was delighted to continue our support for this innovative, community-led project. It has really breathed life back into Belshaw’s Quarry and we’d encourage anyone in the Lisburn area to take a detour and see it for themselves”.

The association plans to hold an open evening after Christmas to give people further details about the project. More information is available online at www.bqsp.co.uk

For information about the work of Whitemountain & District Community Association log on to www.whitemountain.org.uk