VIP opening for Enniskillen Workhouse business and heritage hub

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Paul Millar, Partner (third left) and Project Architect Jenny McBurney (left) attended the official opening

Enniskillen Workhouse, which was transformed into an impressive business and heritage centre by Hamilton Architects (on behalf of Kriterion Conservation Architects), has been officially opened.

The building was sympathetically restored to conserve its important historic features, to highlight its fascinating history and to offer a modern business enterprise facility and heritage hub on a landmark site.

It is the only Workhouse in Northern Ireland telling the story of its inmates, the famine period, and the lives of those within it up to its closure. Those stories are told through a mixed-use exhibition, reminiscence and display area, and a dedicated heritage trail.

In addition, and looking to a positive sustainable future, part of the Workhouse has been transformed into a modern business innovation and enterprise hub to support the needs of local start-ups and budding entrepreneurs.

The project was made possible thanks to a partnership between the local council and the region’s further and higher education college.

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council Chair, Councillor Barry McElduff, said: “The conservation and transformation of the Workhouse has been excellent and we are delighted with the finished result.

“Our ambitious project, supported with funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, shows how a historic building with an emotive past can be restored to become not only a sustainable asset for the local community, and visitors nationally and internationally, but can also provide a supported environment for the creation of high growth companies which are vital for the growth of the local economy.”

Celine McCartan, Chief Executive of South West College, added: “Through this project, the College has delivered an inspired heritage skills programme.  We also look forward to our students making use of Workhouse facilities as they further their learning and begin to create new business and social enterprise ventures.”

Mukesh Sharma, Chair of The National Lottery Heritage Fund in Northern Ireland, said: “Today, thanks to the collaborative partnership between the Council and the College, the Workhouse has become a place of opportunity.”

The Workhouse is open weekdays for self-guided tours. Contact Enniskillen Castle Museum on tel: 028 6632 3142.