Hearth Historic Buildings Trust has received initial support* from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for the exciting Riddel’s Warehouse Project.
The project will see the careful conservation and reimagining of a unique B+ listed Victorian warehouse with impressive five-storey galleried interior in the heart of Belfast, into a centre for performance arts and creative industries.
Development funding of over £464,000 has been awarded by the Heritage Fund to help Hearth progress plans to apply for a full National Lottery grant at a later date. This development funding builds on earlier work supported by The Architectural Heritage Fund, Department for Communities and the Pilgrim Trust, as well as a loan from Ulster Garden Villages used to purchase the building and funding from the Whitemountain Programme used to carry out holding repairs.
The project aims to carry out essential conservation work and upgrade the currently vacant building on the ‘buildings at risk’ register to provide a new performance venue with exhibition, rehearsal and creative co-working space. The aspiration is to use the building as a focal point for the Belfast community, to be used by local groups as well as arts groups.
Riddel’s Warehouse was built in 1867 and functioned as a warehouse until the early 1970s. It is one of the most remarkable survivals from industrial 19th century Belfast and is a rare example in due to its intact state having been virtually unchanged since its closure in 1973. The vision is for Riddel’s Warehouse to be both a celebration of Belfast’s industrial past and a flagship project looking ahead to a vibrant creative industry of the 21st century.
Commenting on the award, Alastair Rankin, Chair of Hearth said:
“After much effort by members of the Hearth Committee and our Heritage Development Officer I am delighted that The National Lottery Heritage Fund has honoured us with a substantial grant towards the restoration of the historic Riddel’s Warehouse in Belfast’s Ann Street. This building is a unique relic of our industrial heritage, and we look forward to bringing it back to use by and for the public as an arts centre. Our challenge now is to secure the balance funding required in order to complete the restoration.”
Dr Paul Mullan, Director, Northern Ireland at The National Lottery Heritage Fund said:
“Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, we’re delighted to award Hearth Historic Buildings Trust with a development grant. It will help put in place plans to rescue an at-risk building but most importantly will look to develop a place that celebrates our industrial heritage and forms a magnificent backdrop for creative and community use”