Demolition of the old Armagh fire station in the Shambles is set to get underway in order to make way for the new Aonach Mhacha Irish Culture Centre.
The demolition of the old fire station building at 70 Upper English Street will clear the site to facilitate the erection of the Irish Culture Centre recommended for approval by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.
The development has the potential to rejuvenate a historic part of Armagh City.
The development includes incubation hubs for social enterprises, office accommodation, a cafe, gift shop, teaching units, meeting rooms, multi-purpose area for performance/dance, media suite and art gallery and exhibition space.
Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said: “I am delighted to approve demolition and note Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s approval for a new build on the site. The proposal is for a state of the art Cultúrlann in the historic heart of the City of Armagh. The development site was identified for redevelopment in the Armagh City Masterplan and it will enhance the Conservation Area in which this building is located.
“This is an exciting development for Armagh City and in particular those involved in the promotion of Irish language, song, dance and drama. The present building is an eyesore and I know the local community and businesses are keen to see this development commence as soon as possible. I hope this decision today will pave the way for the release of the necessary funding to make this project a reality.
“I believe this is an exciting opportunity and want to congratulate all involved, including Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council and the legacy Armagh City and District Council. The Cultural Centre will support social enterprises and businesses whilst providing a new space for the development of the arts.”
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