Skip the NI Direct Bar
Skip navigation

McCausland helps Belfast gear up for Giro d’Italia ‘Big Start’ with £331,000

Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland has announced funding of £331,000 for Belfast ahead of the Giro d’Italia Grande Partenza (Big Start) on 9 and 10 May.
Friday, 28 March 2014

The funding from the Northern Ireland Executive, through the Department for Social Development, will be used to visually improve derelict and dilapidated properties and sites on the Ormeau, Newtownards and Shore Roads which are included in the routes of the Giro d’Italia Grande Partenza.

This funding follows on from an announcement of £145,000 for Armagh, Glengormley, Ballycastle, Larne and Carrickfergus towns, which the race will also pass through.

Minister McCausland said: “The Giro d’Italia is one of the world’s most significant sporting events and is regarded as one of cycling’s Triple Crown, along with the Tour De France and the Vuelta a Espana (Tour of Spain). This is another huge opportunity to showcase Northern Ireland to a worldwide audience. This funding, to Belfast City Council, will go towards enhancing the routes of the Team Time Trial and road race through Belfast.

“The first impression of Belfast will be the lasting impression for many worldwide viewers and I, along with my Executive colleagues, want to ensure that Belfast and Northern Ireland is shown in the best possible light, both in terms of our magnificent scenery and our fine towns and cities.

“The race presents an excellent opportunity to address dereliction in areas which are the focus of my Department’s work, whilst also helping to promote Northern Ireland as a destination for international tourism.”

Funding for the Grande Partenza will come from a range of tourism stakeholders and sponsors, including the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) through the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the European Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland. Other funders include Belfast City Council, Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Mediolanum International Funds/Life. The total cost to Northern Ireland is expected to be in the region of £4.2million, with £3million from DETI/EU.

Notes to editors:

  1. DSD has allocated the following funding, which will be added to by Belfast City Council:

    Ormeau Road £155,000
    Newtownards Road £ 23,500
    Shore Road/Nth Queen Street £48,000
    Antrim Road/Clifton Street £49,000
    Great Victoria Street £ 17,000
    Other city centre properties £38,500
  2. The Giro d’Italia takes place from 9-11 May across Belfast, the Causeway Coast, Glens of Antrim and Armagh before finishing in Dublin. The event is being supported by the European Regional Development Fund under the European Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland.
  3. See photos from the Department for Social Development in our collection at Flickr.
  4. All media enquiries to DSD Communications Team on 028 9082 9215 or out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 9971 5440 and your call will be returned.