The Inbox Update: 1 February 2024

The Inbox Update: 1 February 2024

Travel & Tourism

Carrickfergus transformation takes a significant step forward 

  • Plans to transform the historic town of Carrickfergus have taken a significant step forward with the appointment of leading design, architectural and engineering specialists McAdam Design to help deliver the £42m Belfast Region City Deal project.
  • The initiative will regenerate, reposition, and rebrand Carrickfergus, firmly placing the town on the map as an authentic, heritage-led, tourism hub, and a ‘must-visit’ starting point to the internationally acclaimed Causeway Coastal Route.
  • The investment will deliver upgrades and improvements to Carrickfergus Castle – including its visitor hub and historic walls – alongside a significantly enhanced public realm scheme that will improve the Norman Castle’s connection to the town centre.

Belfast City News

Eastside Awards celebrates local businesses and people

The Eastside Awards took place recently to celebrate and recognise the east of the city. Winners included:

  • Contribution to the Arts: Scott’s Jazz Club
  • Community impact: Glentoran Social Partnership
  • Favourite Takeaway: Flout!
  • Excellence in Health & Wellbeing: Men’s Minds Matter NI
  • Tourism Experience: Templemore Baths Heritage Experience
  • Environmental Sustainability: Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful

Belfast 2024 update 

  • Belfast City Council is inviting people to come along to info events during February to find out how they can get involved in its Belfast 2024 programme.
  • Residents can call into drop-in information events from 5-15 February to hear how they can become part of the city’s biggest ever celebration of culture and creativity:
  • Monday 5 February, 10am-11.30am – Aleksander’s Bakery, 20 University Avenue
  • Friday 9 February, 10am-11.30am – Seven Coffee, 7 Glen Road
  • Monday 12 February, 10am-11.30am – 2 Royal Avenue, Belfast city centre
  • Wednesday 14 February, 10am-11.30am – Templemore Baths café, 96 Templemore Avenue
  • Thursday 15 February, 10am-11.30am – The Café at the Duncairn, Duncairn Arts Centre
  • A Belfast 2024 open day will also be held at 2 Royal Avenue in Belfast city centre on Thursday 29 February, 10am-5pm.
  • Sign up to the Belfast 2024 mailing list at -

Retail news

M&S opens 22nd NI store

  • M&S has opened a new 11,500 square foot store in Riverside Retail Park in Coleraine, creating 30 new jobs.
  • Celebrity Chef Paula McIntyre MBE joined local customers and the M&S team to celebrate the official opening of the new foodhall and offered baking demonstrations in store.
  • M&S now has 22 stores in Northern Ireland; the first store opened in 1967.

Hit brand Boojum expands into Leeds.

  • Top rated Mexican eatery Boojum has set its sights on Leeds for their next store opening, after its runaway success story of opening 15 stores, predominantly located in Belfast and Dublin, since 2007.
  • With a vision for further expansion in major UK student cities, Leeds will be award-winning Boojum’s first mainland UK store and 16th site overall.
  • Boojum Founder David Maxwell said, " Boojum's expansion into Leeds is no coincidence. The city's bustling student life and reputation as a foodie paradise make it the perfect stage for our vibrant flavours. We're not just serving food; we're creating experiences and we're excited to blend our Belfast roots with the dynamic spirit of Leeds. " 

Jobs & Vacancies

AND Careers Convention 

  • Need help, advice or support with your career or employment options? Then make sure you visit Ards and North Down Borough Council’s Careers Convention at Bangor Aurora Aquatic and Leisure Complex next Wednesday 7 February between 10am and 3pm.
  • The Labour Market Partnership’s free-to-attend event will provide support and raise awareness of local employment opportunities. Support agencies will be on hand to help with career guidance and development as well as interview techniques. You can find out what sector best suits your skills and interests, get advice on starting your own business, and find out more about apprenticeship opportunities.
  • The event is free-to-attend and no booking is necessary. For more information, visit

Health and Wellness

BHF offer free online CPR training 

  • Northern Ireland is leading the way for life-saving skills in the UK as figures from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) revealed today that almost three-quarters of adults here (74 per cent) have learnt CPR and almost all (96 per cent)1 believe it’s an important skill to learn.
  • Performing quick CPR and defibrillation in the event of a cardiac arrest can be the difference between life and death.
  • The BHF is now urging the public to learn CPR for free in just 15 minutes – using its online tool, RevivR. The tool means anyone can learn lifesaving CPR skills, anywhere, anytime – and all that is needed is a mobile phone and a cushion.
  • To try RevivR, go to

Arts and Exhibitions 

New project creates international opportunities for disabled artists

  • Two leading artists from Northern Ireland and Germany are participating in an exciting new exchange project aimed at creating accessible  international opportunities for d/Deaf, disabled and neurodiverse artists.
  • The Disabled Artists International Residency Project, co-ordinated by the Belfast-based University of Atypical, is a response to the feeling of exclusion experienced by d/Deaf, disabled and neurodiverse artists when applying for or participating in international residencies.
  • Northern Ireland artist Husk Bennet will begin a residency at the queer art collective Coven in Berlin, while Flax Arts Studios in Belfast will host the German artist Chris Yohei Tokunaga in February 2024.
  • More info at

Cancer: Through Our Eyes Exhibition at The Mac

  • Macmillan Cancer Support, along with 13 community groups across Northern Ireland, is holding a three-day exhibition (Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th February, 9am – 5pm) at The MAC Belfast to share personal stories of what it’s like living with cancer and to demonstrate how a cancer diagnosis can impact people’s lives in a variety of ways.
  • The Macmillan-backed project, called ‘Cancer: Through Our Eyes’, also coincides to celebrate World Cancer Day on Sunday, 4th February.
  • The exhibition is free and open to the public and will be hosted at The Mac Belfast, on Exchange Street, from Friday, 2nd to Sunday, 4th February, 9am to 5pm each day.

 Ards Arts Centre welcomes 2 new exhibitions

  • Ards Arts Centre in Newtownards will welcome two new art exhibitions for the month of February: Internal Space, a joint exhibition by Ned Jackson Smyth and Helen Bradbury and Real Lives: The Art of Living with Dementia, a Community Exhibition by Dementia NI.
  • Visual artists Ned Jackson Smyth (sculptor) and Helen Bradbury (painter) come together in the exhibition ‘Internal Space’ to share the work they have created over the past year which links their personal thinking and perspective in response to the external physical world.
  • Both exhibitions open on Thursday 1 February and run until Saturday 24 February. Admission is free during gallery opening hours. 


Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.