Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

£5 million restoration breathes new life into mill

Conway Mill in west Belfast

One of west Belfast’s best known landmarks has received a new lease of life thanks to a £5 million restoration scheme.

New workspaces and artists’ studios have been installed in the refurbished Conway Mill, which was launched by Social Development Minister Alex Attwood yesterday.

The project to restore the historic mill was aimed at promoting social/economic regeneration, job creation and business development while preserving the heritage of one of the most significant architectural landmarks in west Belfast.

The listed building has undergone structural repairs, building conservation and the internal refurbishment of the two mill blocks, creating 16 new workspaces and enterprise units for local businesses, 20 new artist studios and an atrium space.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness described the Conway Mill project as a shining example of how Northern Ireland’s economy can work in a sustainable way.

“While others saw an old mill that could be knocked down, the committee saw an opportunity. The project is based the notion of self-help and about empowering people to define their own future, to take charge of their economy, their education and their identity,” he said.

The Department for Social Development contributed over £2.5m to the refurbishment project. Financial support was also provided by Peace II through the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Architectural Heritage Fund and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the work was carried out by H&J Martin.

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