Blackstaff Square

Blackstaff Square was formed as part of the post-WWII urban renewal agenda after local buildings were demolished and never replaced. The ‘square’ was therefore never designed as a public space and as a place for socialising.

The proximity of the Square to the Europa bus and train centre ( and future Belfast Grand Central Station) means that there is a steady flow of pedestrians moving through the area, as this is a direct route for commuters to and from the commercial district and retail core. Blackstaff Square thereby acts as an entrance space to the wider city centre. It is one of the first public spaces many visitors walk through on the way to one of the 15 hotels or 40 hospitality venues that care located in the Linen Quarter. It therefore has the potential to be a great meeting place for tourist groups, local activities, and (if it were to restrict vehicular access), a playful space for families. If redeveloped properly, the Square could become a destination in its own right: encouraging businesses to use and customise the space; providing opportunities leisure and animation; and enhancing the sense of place.

Since 2021, the BID have completed a number of interventions on and around Blackstaff Square to improve the Square’s appearance and promote it as a destination in its own right.

As part of the FLAXX contract, a petanque court was installed on Blackstaff Square in August 2022.  Previous public realm improvements to the Square include the installation of tree wrap lighting (June 2021), placement of Flax Field planters (April 2022), and repainting of the bollards (April 2022).


To further enhance the Blackstaff Square area as a destination the BID have installed a vinyl featuring an intricate and colourful artwork celebrating local hospitality on the hoarding at  3-11 Brunswick Street. Located directly next to the FLAXX Social Space, the artwork is intended to add more visual vibrancy to this high-footfall area. It features a useful map of the Quarter’s hospitality venues as well as an overview of Petanque game rules for those seeking to try out the game on the Petanque court on Blackstaff square.


Linen Quarter BID have also developed a concept study to transform Blackstaff Square into an enhanced social space in the heart of the city centre.

Concepts for the square envisage a vibrant and accessible social space complete with an outdoor zone and pavement café stretching from the Crown Liquor Saloon onto Great Victoria Street and Brunswick Street. The suggested proposal also advocates for reduced traffic in the area with the pedestrianisation and high-quality resurfacing of Amelia Street to integrate the road surface into the surrounding square. The study also advocates for the introduction of central kiosk which will facilitate early morning use and marketing stalls to add vibrancy in the evenings and support the night-time economy.