18/05/2011

Crescents Arts Centre Scoops Award

A revitalised arts centre was the star of the show at a prestigious awards event today as it was named Northern Ireland's building project of the year.

The Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast got rave reviews from judges in the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) NI Awards when the winners were announced at a ceremony in Lisburn Civic Centre this month.

The impressive newly refurbished and extended community arts centre won the Community Benefit category before being named Northern Ireland Project of the Year.

The University Road scheme involved the significant refurbishment and extension of one of Belfast’s most historic listed buildings (dated 1873). It now incorporates impressive multi-purpose spaces for visual, performance, and creative arts.
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Judges said: "The spectacular refurbishment of an 1873 Grade B1 Listed building has created a Community Arts Centre for the 21st Century. With a prominent location in the university area of Belfast, the refurbished Crescent Arts Centre has retained its Victorian features while also providing a range of state of the art facilities including multi-purpose spaces for visual performance and the creative arts. Over 200 classes take place each week, and more than 2,000 participants attending the centre in the first year of reopening, demonstrates the centre's value to local people.

"The redevelopment of the Centre has dramatically improved accessibility for all visitors with the café particularly popular with wheelchair users, and a central lift installed to serve all levels of the building. The art gallery and café draw in many passing visitors. The new accommodation includes a performance area, a dance studio, and 10 other activity rooms of various sizes, enabling greater use by community organisations. The scope of the activities, the tremendous variety of classes and groups accommodated, and the enthusiasm and commitment of everyone associated with the project was very impressive."

(CD/BMcC)

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