The €7.8m Courthouse Shared Space Creative Hub in Bushmills, designed by Hamilton Architects, has been granted planning approval and given additional funding.
The project will transform the derelict, Grade B1 listed building into a unique, state-of-the-art space to accommodate community activities and events.
The new building will feature an art studio, 15 workshop spaces, visitor facilities, a shop, café, meeting, event and retail space, along with car parking and a garden area.
In addition, the Hub will deliver shared learning programmes for youth and cross-community, cross-border groups. These will include a regional sculpture trail project, schools arts & crafts workshops, taster events in traditional maker disciplines, and an initiative to develop interpretive pieces based on local culture and heritage.
Funding has been provided under the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme (managed by the Special EU Programmes Body), with match-funding from the Department for Communities, Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development, Ireland.
Jayne Taggart, Chief Executive of Enterprise Causeway, said: “We couldn’t have envisioned back in 2016 just how vitally important a shared space like this would be to unite communities following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, cost of living crisis and Brexit.
“This creative hub will help establish Bushmills as a progressive and forward-thinking village, that seeks to embrace all people and all communities through a shared love of arts, crafts, food, heritage, culture and community space.”
Project Architect Andrew Molloy said: “The proposals were carefully considered to complement the historic building and to enhance the unique setting of the Bushmills Conservation Area.
“This exciting project promises to make a significant contribution, both aesthetically and socially, to the historic village of Bushmills and beyond.”