The formal launch of the Creative Hub for the Old Courthouse, Bushmills – designed by Hamilton Architects – has taken place with a number of dignitaries in attendance.
They included Mark O’Donnell from the Department for Communities; Kieran Moylan from the Department of Rural and Community Development Ireland; and Gina McIntyre, CEO of the Special EU Programmes Body.
The Old Courthouse, built by the McNaughton family in 1834, has remained an iconic landmark in the village despite falling into disuse in the Sixties.
Enterprise Causeway are driving the restoration and development of the Grade B1 listed building into a unique shared space for the community.
A €5m funding package has been secured through the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme with match-funding provided by the DfC and the DRCD.
The build will deliver studio space for creatives, retail space, a coffee shop, a suite of meeting rooms, workshops and events space, as well as a large extension to the rear of the building.
Enterprise Causeway are currently awaiting planning permission from Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and are hopeful of commencing building works later this year, with a target completion of March 2023.
Jayne Taggart, Chief Executive of Enterprise Causeway said: “We believe the regeneration of this iconic building in Bushmills will be transformational for the village and indeed the wider local community.
“New employment opportunities will emerge through the coffee shop and retail space and a spirit of enterprise will be promoted and nurtured as a direct result of incubating 15 creative entrepreneurs in bespoke, dedicated creative studios, growing a strong and vibrant creative industry sector for Causeway Coast & Glens.
“The social benefits will be significant too with state of the art, shared community facilities being at the heart of this project. The vision is to provide a very unique, inclusive space for the whole community to use, affording them the opportunity to engage in a fully funded programme of activities and learning, enabling them to explore new skills and interests across the arts, culture, heritage and artisan food.”