Belfast City Cemetery

A contested and conflicted site

Belfast City Cemetery opened in 1869 and is a fine example of the Victorian garden cemetery. Having secured a first round pass from the Heritage Lottery Fund, HKD have developed the interpretation plan to secure £1.3m to deliver the project.

The cemetery has a rich, challenging and complex history, and the project aims to respect this while connecting to local residents in meaningful ways through a varied activity programme. Restoration, social history, and biodiversity are key narratives. The project installed site-wide interpretation and signage and a new on-site visitor centre, helping to guide visitors through different paths connecting to these themes.

The site suffers from antisocial behaviour, so part of our challenge was to address perceptions of the site. Therefore, community and stakeholder consultation throughout the design process was seen as vital to the project being a success.

Project facts:
Client: Belfast City Council
Year: 2022
Country: UK
Size: 18,000 m²
Our services: Interpretation planning and design to submit report as part of successful HLF stage 2 bid, community and stakeholder consultation, graphic design, script writing, wayfinding, interior exhibition, exterior interventions, AV – oral histories, commission films

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