Townsend Business Park
Enabling community transformation through business and regeneration.
At Townsend Enterprise Park we believe successful businesses are at the heart of happy healthy communities.That is why we provide small and medium sized businesses with superb workspaces, meeting, and training and conference rooms.
These spaces are designed to facilitate the next stage in a businesses evolution and all in the heart of the community. Founded in 1987 the park recognised the need for creating new opportunities, stretching the imagination and promoting peace and reconciliation within the local community. 30 years on and we are delighted to be supporting over 40 organisations as well as the communities on either side of the peace wall in Belfast
“Encouraging the development of business and creating employment, while stimulating social and economic regeneration”
Founded in 1987, Townsend Enterprise Park have continued to recognise the need for creating new opportunities, stretching the imagination and promoting peace and reconciliation within the local community, as well as business along with offering superb work space such as industrial units, office space and a large training/conference facility. Since its establishment, the company has steadily expanded and matured into the successful organisation it is today.
The History of Townsend Business Park
Townsend Street as the name suggests was the “end of the town” of Belfast. The site on which the enterprise park is located is one of the few places where the Farset the river which gave Belfast its name can still be seen.
The Farset has been a driving force in powering industry along its route from Ligoniel to the Lagan. One of those business powered by the Farset on this site was the Soho Foundry owned by Robert Shipboy MacAdam and his brother James. Founded in 1838 the foundry produced a wide range of iron products and employed 250 people in the production. Orders came from many foreign countries, particularly Egypt where a number of their turbines were installed in 1840. The windows in the palace of the Pasha were moulded in the Soho Foundry. Because of its export trade this foundry was one of the most interesting businesses in Ireland. The King of Egypt once came to Belfast to visit Robert.
Robert through business became a talented linguist with knowledge of 13 languages, but none more so than the Irish language for which he had a passion for its promotion and preservation. Especially, in a time when the English efforts were to stamp out all traces of the Irish culture. Before long, he had put together the first collection of Gaeltacht folktales. His personal work included a collection in Irish of song, proverbs, folktale, and folklore. He personally transcribed from Irish-speakers over the period 1828-1847. During his lifetime, Robert put together an impressive collection of Irish manuscripts. Towards the late 1800’s all things Irish were deemed underclass and Robert’s work fell out of favor. His business declined and was eventually sold off. Robert died unmarried on 3 Jan.
In 1983, a small number of business people were invited by Bishop Cathal Daly and Presbyterian Moderator John Dunlop to consider the possibility of transforming a near derelict industrial estate in Townsend Street, Belfast into a community based business. This site could, in turn accommodate businesses which then could employ local people in a politically neutral environment. The idea was to use economic development as a means of increasing the social and political stability of the Townsend Street district which at that time continued to be subject to daily disturbances sometimes on a major scale involving firearms, petrol bombs and much worse.
Since the company was founded in 1987, the Directors have been guided by an ethos of service to the community, which has been embraced by all serving and former board members. Given the structure of the company and the demands on members’ time, this service has always been given willingly and generously in spite of other competing pressures in personal and professional lives.
This collective ambition to create an enterprise park in this particular area, as a means of raising its profile and encouraging peace and reconciliation, really took off in 1987, when Phase One opened with 35,000 sq. ft of business space. The success of this venture became evident in 1995 when expansion became necessary and Phase Two of the Park was completed, accommodating a further 15-20 businesses and creating employment for a further 250 people.
The park continues to go from strength to strength and today is the home for 40 businesses which provide employment for around 300 people.
Margaret Patterson McMahon
Chief Executive Officer
A Wide range of businesses
Here at Townsend Enterprise Park, We have an extensive range of businesses and tenants on site.