With the support of our funders East Belfast Enterprise embarked on project to engage the wider community of East Belfast to create two mural artworks that would be installed on the walls of the City East building. This building occupies prominent location as the first building on the Newtownards Road, representing the “gateway to East Belfast”. The building accommodates range of businesses, reflecting the new commercial reality of East Belfast, following on from the proud industrial past that this part of the city is known for. The story of entrepreneurship and the memories of those trades that were prominent in East Belfast, as recalled by the community engaged in the project, are reflected in the murals, with an encouraging message to Be Your Best and Be Inspired. East Belfast Enterprise has mission to inspire and support entrepreneurs and this is what is reflected in the mural artwork, which will be there for all to see as they enter East Belfast.

Billy Panel
Abbi Panel

During the mural project the memories, stories and thoughts of local, East Belfast people were captured and the designs created to link to the purpose of the building on which the murals are displayed. The building is owned by East Belfast Enterprise, which was established to encourage and support enterprise and entrepreneurship and to build the local economy. Local people shared stories of entrepreneurs from the past – the rag and bone man, the sweep, the fish monger, the butcher, the window cleaner, the cobbler and the trades that were at the historical heart of industrial East Belfast –welders, builders, carpenters. These past trades and entrepreneurs are represented with the figure shown in the first mural, a typical figure from the past, who could have been any one of these entrepreneurs or tradesmen. He’s calling out in the busy, bustling environment that was East Belfast at the height of its industrial power.

In the second mural we reflect the entrepreneurs of now and look to the future. The image is modelled on a real life entrepreneur from East Belfast, Abbie Lawlor, the owner of AHL Apparel – a Belfast streetwear and loungewear brand, who was assisted by East Belfast Enterprise, attending advice sessions within the building on which her image is now displayed. The image shows the energy of the modern entrepreneur, working tirelessly, innovating, creating, connecting. Typical examples of today’s entrepreneurs and those for the future were drawn from conversations with local people and these frame the image, with an encouragement to “BE inspired” – Designers, musicians, tech entrepreneurs, animators, beauticians, chefs, makers and artists, the entrepreneurs that will create the next chapter in East Belfast’s economic journey.

Many Thanks To The Funders Who Made This Possible!

East Belfast Enterprise
Belfast City Council
George Best Airport
Community Relations Council
Housing For All
Housing Executive
ni executive
Radius Housing
Briggs Equipment

Contributors To The Design

  • Short Strand Ladies Group
  • Pitt Park Residents Association
  • Glentoran FC
  • Ashfield Boys Hugh School
  • Ballymac Mens Shed
  • Ballymac youth club
  • Abbie Lawlor, AHL Apparel
  • Doyle Youth Club
  • City East Tenants
  • Indiana Business Students
  • 1000m2 Bordeaux
  • Maritime Belfast
  • Ashfield Girls High School
  • Ballymac Prisoner Group
  • Mcarthur Nursery
  • Catalyst
  • Orchardville
  • Naomi Long (Alliance Party)
  • Joanne Bunting (DUP)
  • Andy Allen (UUP)
  • David Brooks (DUP)

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