The Department of the Environment (DOE) has approved a key physical and community regeneration scheme for Bishop Street, Derry.
DOE Planning officials sought the views of Derry City Council who unanimously supported the proposals.
The proposal involves the redevelopment of two non-listed buildings at 8/10 and 12/14 Bishop Street to provide new three storey office accommodation and associated service space with basement and roof garden. The site is located within the City Walls in Derry’s city centre and within the Historic City Conservation Area.
The applications were made on behalf of the Holywell Trust who own the buildings and are the lead members of the Walled City Community Partnership.
This unique community project aims to link 11 different community and voluntary organisations which carry out a range of work including working with young people, promoting health and well being, community engagement and supporting the victims and survivors of the Troubles.
Alex Attwood said: “This is a unique community regeneration project in the heart of Derry’s city centre. This is a carefully balanced approval taking into account the need for retaining and revitalising buildings within Conservation Areas whilst protecting and enhancing the built heritage. It will not only have major physical benefits to the immediate area by enhancing the streetscape, in future it will act as a catalyst for further investment and redevelopment in this important Historic City Conservation Area. DOE is delighted to assist the community and voluntary sector with this special project which will accommodate up to 100 jobs centrally and provide shared space for cross-community development. Stimulating the economy is a key ingredient in programme for government. It will be a real boost to the Historic Conservation Area and will complement well the ongoing physical regeneration efforts across the public sector in the city in the preparation for the City of Culture 2013.
“It will sustain a beneficial and active use of buildings in an area struggling in the current economic climate. What I and DOE are about is making Northern Ireland a better place to live, work and invest and this would certainly contribute to that."
This regeneration scheme will provide new modern shared office space for approximately 100 jobs to be retained in the city centre.
The project is being grant funded by DSD and the International Fund for Ireland.