Originally founded to build and run the Poor House, the Belfast Charitable has continued the philanthropic tradition of its founding fathers into the 21st century. Today Belfast Charitable Society utilises its home at Clifton House to facilitate care of the elderly alongside a heritage and conference centre, operated as a social enterprise. Clifton House Heritage Centre seeks to support the charitable work of the Society by ‘making the past our future’.
As a member of the North Belfast Heritage Cluster, the Belfast Charitable Society has worked to secure funding for a philanthropic project to benefit and uplift the local North Belfast area. This is the 3-year Great Place North Belfast project which has been successfully funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund with 10% being contributed by the Society.
Great Place North Belfast will use the unique built heritage and authentic character to deliver and support regeneration in this part of north Belfast. Working with fifteen heritage organisations, the project features their historic buildings and sites stretching for one mile along Donegall Street, Clifton Street, the Crumlin Road and part of the Antrim Road.
In 2018/2019 a baseline audit was completed to better understand the impact of the Cluster’s activity by using a series of economic and social indicators. The findings of this baseline audit are summarised below:
• The Cluster currently supports a combined total of 69 jobs which is equal to £1.38 million in annual salaries. 35 of these salaried positions are full time compared to 34 part time and 13% of these employees live locally in the North Belfast area.
• In the last year the Cluster provided opportunities for a total of 183 volunteers and 2 interns. This equated to just over 8,322 volunteering hours and a voluntary input value of £83,322 based on the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s lowest rate of £10 per hour.
• In the last financial year cluster member projects had a combined income of £3.17miliion. Nearly 46% of this income was generated through grants and awards whilst 27% was from trading activities linked to tourism, community service delivery and local room hire. The aggregated expenditure of cluster members, which includes salaries and suppliers totalled £2.87 million.
• In the last year, Cluster members attracted a total 19,540 visitors to experience their local tourist offering. Not all members host a tourist provision but do offer a host of local services. The number of users availing of these services totaled just over 48,000 with 74% coming from the local North Belfast area.
To find out more about the Great Place North Belfast project and the North Belfast Heritage Cluster please check out our Facebook, Twitter and Website.