A £2.5m scheme to restore part of the Crumlin Road Gaol is to begin in August, it has been announced.
The gatehouse and governor's corridor will get an overhaul and there will be improved visitor facilities as well as a conference/theatre area at the north Belfast former prison.
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said: “The Gaol is a great community asset and these improvements will be of benefit to the North Belfast community and further afield both as a tourist attraction and for the benefit of local people.”
First Minister Peter Robinson said it was important the government supported the construction industry.
“This restoration scheme secures a number of jobs for the contractor concerned as well as creating new jobs during the construction phase and also when the project is completed,” he said.
“This work increases the value of the Gaol as a tourist destination both locally and for the region as a whole.”
This scheme adds to a number of conservation projects already undertaken to preserve the Grade A listed Gaol. Further projects are planned including the repair of the roof, walls and 35m ventilation chimney.
The Gaol entrance is also due to be refurbished. Completion of the work is due in autumn 2011.