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DfI seeks tenants to occupy terrace of cottages at Crumlin Road Gaol

The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) is seeking a new tenant or tenants to occupy a row of cottages on the grounds of Crumlin Road Gaol.

DfI is hoping to attract interest and investment that will allow the site to "provide long-term social and economic benefits" for the area, including commercial businesses that will contribute to the tourism offering already there.

The cottages were built in 1927 and are made up of eight two-storey units of varying sizes and internal layouts on a self-contained site outside the historic walls of the gaol.

Before the gaol closed, the cottages were used as a social club and offices. The exterior was restored and repaired in 2013, while the internal areas are in shell condition. Connection to services was installed for all the units, said property agents Lisney.

They added that potential leaseholders will benefit from the footfall generated by Crumlin Road Gaol,which has welcomed over one million visitors since it opened to tourists in November 2012. It has also been graded and awarded a five-star visitor attraction rating under the Tourism NI Quality Grading Scheme.

The Crumlin Road area of Belfast has been the focus of much investment recently as plans were submitted to convert the run-down courthouse opposite the gaol into a luxury hotel complex, but owners Signature Living have since put the property up for sale.

However, Signature Living owner Lawrence Kenwright has said he may keep the courthouse and proceed with the work. He told the Belfast Telegraph that once his George Best Hotel in Belfast City Centre opens, he will revisit "the Crum".

"We are probably going to keep it," he said. "The idea is, get the George Best open and don't give ourselves more issues to deal with.

"Once open, concentrate solely on the Crum - it's four or five times harder than the George Best."

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Belfast Telegraph