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Riddel’s Warehouse Project Receives Funding Boost

29 March 2023
Northern Ireland

The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) would like to congratulate Hearth Historic Buildings Trust, which has received development funding of over £464,000 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund towards its exciting Riddel’s Warehouse project.

Riddel’s Warehouse is a Grade B+ listed ironmongery warehouse built for John Riddel & Co in 1867. Having been virtually unchanged since its closure in 1973, it is a remarkable survivor from industrial 19th-century Belfast. Inside the warehouse is a unique atrium with five storeys of galleries supported by cast iron columns and heavy timber beams, which are arranged around three sides of a glass-roofed courtyard.

The project will see the building, which is currently vacant and on the Buildings at Risk register, conserved and restored as a new performance venue, with exhibition, rehearsal and creative co-working space for the community. The overall 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.

Development funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund will help Hearth progress plans to apply for a full National Lottery grant at a later date. It also builds upon a loan from Ulster Garden Villages, funding from the Whitemountain Programme, and earlier work funded by the AHF.

The AHF has supported this project since 2014, awarding Hearth Historic Buildings Trust four early-stage grants, a Heritage Impact Fund loan and, most recently, a Capital Works Grant towards urgent conservation work, including essential repairs that should ensure the building is no longer deemed at risk.

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