12/04/2002

£2.75m Victorian mill restored to former glory

A former Victorian linen mill in north Belfast has been brought back to its former glory following a £2.75 million refurbishment.

The fully restored Lanyon Building situated in the Jennymount estate off York Road will be used as office accommodation and was opened at a ceremony on Friday April 12 by the Minister for Social Development, Nigel Dodds.

The seven-storey redbrick listed building has been converted with the help of a £671,000 urban development grant from the Belfast Regeneration Office.

Congratulating all those who brought the project to fruition, Mr Dodds said: “I understand the total costs of this restoration will be in the region of £2.75 million which I feel is a massive vote of confidence by both the private and public sectors.

“As most people will be aware the north Belfast area has suffered from conflict, unemployment and poor infrastructure over the last 30 years. The resultant negative effect can make it difficult to attract business investment,” he added.

The Minister added that support for the Lanyon Building project was just part of his department’s commitment to improving life in north Belfast.

The department has recently been engaged in talks with people from north Belfast to discuss solutions that will address local difficulties.

These include the EU Urban II initiative that becomes operational this summer with a funding package of £11 million.

Further strategies to tackle poverty and tension include the North Belfast Community Action Project and a massive housing strategy, which will involve a £133 million spend over a seven-year period.

Mr Dodds added: “The task facing my Department and all of the stakeholders in the regeneration of north Belfast is enormous. However, I would like to say, in particular, that I and my department are fully committed to tackling social disadvantage by developing the capacity of neighbourhoods and communities to work together.” (AMcE)

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