April 11, 2024 by Rikki Thompson
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The Armagh City Townscape Heritage project has invested £2.9 million to bring four historic buildings back into sustainable use with ground level retail and commercial spaces and modern living accommodation on the upper levels.

These projects have been made possible with funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, the Department for Communities, the Housing Executive and property owners.

This significant funding has breathed new life into four derelict buildings in Upper English, marking the latest major heritage-led regeneration projects for Armagh City Townscape Heritage. The revitalized retail spaces now proudly house Innovating Interiors and Hairport Turkish Barbers Armagh, along with the addition of four modern city centre apartments. This remarkable transformation is a testament to the commitment towards preserving and revitalizing Armagh’s rich heritage.

The restoration project, made possible by the generous investment, has brought about a stunning revival of the derelict buildings in Armagh City Centre. The aim of these heritage-led regeneration projects is to preserve the city’s unique architectural character while creating vibrant spaces for businesses and residents alike. Upper English, with its historical significance, has been a focal point for this revitalization effort.

Two notable businesses, Innovating Interiors and Hairport Turkish Barbers have found their new homes within the revitalized retail spaces. Innovating Interiors offers a wide range of stylish interior design solutions, catering to the diverse tastes and preferences of their clientele. Hairport Turkish Barbers Armagh provides top-notch grooming services, combining traditional barbering techniques with modern trends. These businesses not only contribute to the economic growth of Armagh but also add to the vibrant atmosphere of the city centre.

In addition to the retail spaces, the restoration project has also introduced four modern city centre apartments. These apartments provide residents with a unique opportunity to live in the heart of Armagh, surrounded by the city’s rich history and cultural heritage. With their contemporary design and convenient location, these apartments offer a perfect blend of comfort and urban living.

Councillor Kevin Savage, Chair of the Economic Development and Regeneration Committee said:

“This is a fantastic transformation that has brought vibrancy to this part of the city, with a major works to these vacant and derelict properties. I’m delighted to see the works come to fruition and the many benefits it brings with new businesses already accommodating city centre retail space and increasing footfall to our urban centres.

“The overall £6.3m Townscape Heritage scheme is really starting to take shape and we can see the positive impact it is having, not only restoring and reviving our city centre but preserving the buildings unique architecture.”

Dr Sally Montgomery, Northern Ireland Committee Member at The National Lottery Heritage Fund commented:

“Thanks to National Lottery players we have been able to invest in several Townscape Heritage projects in the area and have made a further commitment over the next ten years to invest in the Armagh City, Banbridge, and Craigavon Borough Council area through our Heritage Places initiative.

We are so pleased to see four more heritage buildings restored, revitalised and brought back into use in the City. This work and accompanying heritage activity programme led by Armagh City, Banbridge, and Craigavon Borough Council is connecting people to the value of heritage and building a confident future for local people and businesses.”

Minister for Communities, Gordon Lyons said:

“I am pleased that my department has contributed £360,000 to help preserve the beautiful heritage assets in Armagh city centre. This funding will help to save the Georgian architecture which makes Armagh unique and I welcome this continued collaboration with Armagh City Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council.”

As one of the oldest cities in Ireland, Armagh is famous for its Georgian façades and listed buildings which are instrumental in giving Armagh its distinctive, unique and historical feel. The four buildings (14, 16, 18 and 20 Upper English Street) date back to the early 19th century having witnessed various uses and occupancies over the years, such as a bakery, a tobacconist, a bookshop, a dressmaker, and a grocer. The newly revitalised retail spaces are now home to Innovating Interiors and Hairport Turkish Barbers.

To date twelve projects have been completed across the city, including the restoration of No. 1 Seven Houses (43 Lower English Street) and Armagh County Club (33 Upper English Street), with works in progress at the old Dunnes property (28-30 Upper English Street) and Gosford Place (The Mall).


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