Menu closed Menu open

Riddel’s Warehouse

Belfast, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

Hearth Historic Buildings Trust

Grade B+

Transforming a 19th-century ironmongery warehouse into a multi-use arts venue and co-working space

Riddel’s Warehouse is a 19th-century, four-storey ironmongery warehouse built for John Riddel & Co in 1867. 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. For many years, the building was one of the largest ironmongery warehouses in the country, until it closed in the 1970s and was acquired by the Police Authority as storage. The building then fell into disrepair and was added to the Buildings at Risk Register.

Hearth Historic Buildings Trust is the longest established building preservation trust in Northern Ireland. The Trust acquired Riddel’s Warehouse in 2014 with the aim of undertaking essential repairs and bringing it back into permanent full-time mixed-use as a venue for the arts and performances, as well as co-working office space and commercial units.  

The AHF has supported this project since 2014, awarding the Trust five grants and a Heritage Impact Fund loan – most recently, a Capital Works Grant of £30,000 was provided towards urgent conservation work, which is now underway. This includes repairs to timbers suffering dry rot and structural brick wall and roof restoration, all of which should ensure the building is no longer deemed at risk. While works have been in development, the building has continued to be in meanwhile use for a variety of events and activities, including as a music venue for part of Belfast Culture Night, for performances of film, for large scale science experiments as part of the NI 2019 Science Festival and, most recently, as a filming location.

AHF Funding

Project Viability Grant - £2,800 (2014)  

Project Development Grant - £3,050 (2020)

Heritage Impact Fund - £300,000 (2020)

Project Viability Grant - £2,500 (2020)  

Project Development Grant - £10,000 (2021)

Capital Works Grant - £30,000 (2021)

Image Credits

Lloyd Crawford

of 1   /