Northern Ireland news

Belfast city council launches consultation on multilingual signs at leisure centres

Pupils from Bunscoil Phobail Feirste protest outside the Andersonstown Leisure Centre site calling for bilingual signage when it opens next year. Belfast city council has this week launched a consultation on proposals to erect bilingual/multilingual signage at leisure centre sites. Picture by Mal McCann
Marie Louise McConville

THE public is being asked its views on proposals by Belfast City Council to erect bilingual/multilingual signage at its leisure centres.

Following a special council meeting last month, members agreed to instal multilingual welcome signs in all council leisure sites.

They also agreed to carry out a public consultation regarding bilingual/multilingual signage at the Andersonstown, Lisnasharragh, Olympia and Templemore centres.

There were protests by schoolchildren and Irish language activists last month after the council rejected plans for dual-language signs at leisure centres currently undergoing redevelopment, voting instead to hold a wider consultation.

This has been now drawn up in line with council's language strategy and can be accessed via its website.

It is seeking views on bilingual/multilingual signage at all council leisure centres with a view to the council potentially developing a new policy.

During the consultation period, which runs until January 10, members of the public will be able to attend a series of information and feedback events across the city.

The council is also holding focus groups with representatives from Irish language and Ulster Scots groups, as well as disability and migrant forums.

Further information is available at www.belfastcity.gov.uk/consultations or by emailing equality@belfastcity.gov.uk.

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