Clanmil celebrates 5,000 homes after conversion of former municipal building

Building originally used as the home of the Blood Transfusion Service transformed into 23 new apartments.

Clanmil 1

Clanmil Housing is celebrating its 5,000th home after successfully transforming a 101-year-old listed building on Durham Street into nearly two-dozen apartments.

The £3.3m restoration development, part funded by the Department for Communities, allowed the previously derelict building to be turned into 23 new homes.

To preserve the building’s original features while creating modern comfortable homes, contractors Geda Construction reinstated the sash windows with secondary glazing, restored the brick and sandstone detailing, repointed the original lime and improved insulation.

The building was also extended sympathetically, to bring the total number of apartments to 12, with a glass atrium linking the old to the new. The development also includes 10 new family houses and one bungalow.

The building was originally designed by Young & Mackenzie Architects, famous for other iconic Belfast City Centre buildings such as Scottish Provident Building, and the old Robinson & Cleaver department store.

It is well known as the former home of the Blood Transfusion Service, and for housing the NI Tuberculosis Authority from 1918 to 1960.

Commenting on the development, Clanmil Group chief executive Clare McCarty said: “Reaching the 5,000-homes milestone is testimony to the hard work and dedication of our fantastic team and the valuable input of our partners.

“We are proud to provide modern, comfortable, safe and affordable homes for almost 10,000 people across Northern Ireland.

“We work really hard to make sure people love living in the homes we provide and that they are in vibrant and supportive communities where families can put down roots and thrive.

McCarty added: “For this project we have worked closely with local political representatives and St Mary’s Community Group to ensure we built the right housing mix to meet the need in the area.

“We’ve also benefitted from the expertise of Harry Rolston Architect, Turley Planning, and Geda Construction, who helped ensure this architecturally-significant listed building was brought back to life.”

Jean McMahon of St Mary’s Community Group said: “We are greatly encouraged that our community’s fantastic old building is providing new accommodation for a wide range of ages and residents.

“There is a need for family and older people’s housing in the area, so it is fantastic to see both provided for in this scheme.

Clanmil Housing was registered as a housing association in 1977. Its first scheme was The Old Mill independent living for older people in Larne, which comprises of 13 apartments and 12 bungalows.

In 2011, Clanmil merged with Dungannon and District Housing Association and with housing conservation specialist Hearth in 2017.

Flagship Clanmil schemes include 174 homes at Lavinia Square in Belfast, 163 homes at Caffrey Hill in West Belfast, and 97 homes at Feldon in Newtonabbey.

Clanmil plans to complete a further 400 homes by the end of March 2020.

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