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Belfast Live
Belfast Live
Michael Kenwood

Belfast Council providing 11 beacons for Eleventh Night bonfires

Details have emerged from Belfast Council of locations that will be availing of the beacon programme to replace bonfires this month.

Minutes from an agenda item held away from the public at a council committee meeting last month emerged at the full meeting of Belfast City Council on Monday.

It shows eleven groups with one beacon each will participate in the beacon programme for 2023. The programme will cost a minimum of £81,103, significantly higher than the £72,000 budget allocation for the beacon programme announced last month.

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At the full council, elected members ratified a decision by the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee to cover the extra money from a £47,745 underspend on the council's summer bonfire diversionary fund. The Stormont Executive Office had already committed £15,000 to the council beacon programme.

The 15 year old beacon programme, which is open only to constituted community/voluntary groups, supports the provision of beacons as an alternative to traditional bonfires over the 12th of July period.

In April, council officers contacted the eight groups that had received beacons in 2022, as well as four others that had expressed an interest this year, to determine if they wished to be placed on the list. Two groups confirmed they did not require a beacon.

The council report states: “As (was) the case in 2022, mitigations would need to be put in place at the Brown Square and White City sites, and the report on the Grove Street East site would, as previously, advise that there was potential for significant damage due to the distance factor.”

A request from Action for Community Transformation for a beacon to replace a traditional bonfire at Shankill Terrace and California Close brought the expected 10 beacon figure to 11, and accounts for the bigger budget requirement.

The locations for beacons in Belfast this month are: the Haig Street/Lord Street Junction, the Clara Street/Ravensdale Street junction, Grove Street East/Channing Street, the Highspring Avenue green area off Black Mountain Grove, White City, and the hard ground area at the Ainsworth Avenue end of Ceylon Street.

They will also be found at Ballysillan Park facing Wheatfield Drive, Brown Square in the middle of the road at the bottom of Melbourne Street, on the mound in the green space across from Trassey Close in Cregagh Estate, 2 Auburn Place Dunmurry, and Shankill Terrace/California Close.

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