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The Woolstore

Caledon, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland

Caledon Regeneration Partnership


19th-century Woolstore restored as childcare facility, thanks to innovative Village Catalyst programme

Dating back to the early 1800s, the Woolstore is a three-storey stone building located in the centre of the Caledon Conservation Area, and is one of the last physical links to the vast flour mill which once stood at the heart of the village. When the mill was converted for woollen production in the 1880s, this ancillary building was used to store raw wool. The Woolstore is highly significant to the local community and serves as a valuable reminder of Caledon’s industrial past following the demolition of the mill itself in the 1980s.

Caledon Regeneration Partnership (CRP) is a not-for-profit organisation with a long history of working to preserve historic buildings in Caledon. Keen to save the Woolstore, CRP came to the AHF to explore ideas for how they could repurpose it.

In 2019, the AHF awarded CRP a Project Viability Grant to test ideas for the reuse of the building, consequently establishing the need for a childcare facility in Caledon. Following this, the Woolstore was identified as a candidate for the Village Catalyst pilot, receiving further investment as part of this innovative cross-departmental initiative between the Department for Communities (DfC) and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), which sought to target rural poverty and social isolation and to restore and revive historic buildings across Northern Ireland. In 2021, CRP was awarded DfC Covid Recovery funding via a Capital Works Grant administered by the AHF.

The original Woolstore building has since undergone a series of sensitive conservation works including the addition of a sympathetic contemporary extension designed by award-winning architect, Mark Hackett. Newly transformed and opened in February 2022, the building provides 36 childcare places for children (ages 0-5) and 16 after-school places.

AHF Funding

Project Viability Grant - £3,000 (2019)

Capital Works Grant - £30,000 (2021)

Image Credits
Mark Hackett

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