QMAC Construction Ltd, has been awarded a £2.2m contract for the conservation and restoration of Enniskillen Workhouse Entrance Block, a historically significant Grade B2 Listed Building.
Funding of £2,343,000 was awarded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to Fermanagh and Omagh District Council in partnership with South West College, to undertake this major capital project to create a business enterprise and heritage hub at Enniskillen Workhouse.
The project will also involve the coordination of a Reminiscence programme to capture the stories and memories of the Workhouse and the delivery of a Heritage Skills programme which is being managed by South West College.
The total value of the project is £3.25m.
Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project will see the Workhouse Entrance Block restored. The ground floor will be redeveloped as mixed-use exhibition, reminiscence and display space, where the surviving workhouse records and minute books will be displayed, and a dedicated heritage trail will be used to tell the story of the workhouse and the people who were housed there. The remaining space will be brought back into use as a business innovation and enterprise hub. The project is due to be completed in Summer 2022.
Welcoming the appointment of the contractor, the Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Diana Armstrong, said;
“We are delighted to have appointed QMAC Construction as the principal contractor for the project as the Enniskillen Workhouse is an extremely significant building in the landscape and socio-economic history of Enniskillen.
Its restoration will provide an opportunity for the public to understand the history of the Workhouse, whilst at the same time providing a hub where entrepreneurs will receive tailored support to develop and grow their businesses locally.
The location of the Workhouse next door to the new Erne Campus will allow graduates from South West College and other colleges to develop and advance new business ideas with growth potential, thereby creating long term sustainability and employment opportunities for people within the region.”
Commenting on the appointment, Angela Lavin, Senior Investment Manager, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:
“We are delighted to support Fermanagh and Omagh District Council with the restoration of the historic Enniskillen Workhouse, with money raised by National Lottery players. This will not only preserve this important heritage of the building to be enjoyed by locals and visitors from further afield, but will also play a significant role in boosting the local economy and aiding the wider regeneration of the Enniskillen area.”
Alongside the restoration works a dedicated heritage skills and education programme will enable more than 100 local craftspeople and contractors to benefit from accredited training in heritage skills, while 12 apprenticeships will be created throughout the restoration works.
Commenting on the announcement, Michael McAlister, Chief Executive of South West College said:
“We’re delighted to have reached this stage of the workhouse project, with the last few weeks providing many significant landmarks. Construction has been completed on the new South West College Erne campus, which the workhouse is located beside. The easing of certain COVID restrictions has allowed apprentices to begin working onsite. The bursary holders are really looking forward to joining up with the QMAC team in restoring the building and to achieving a level 3 qualification in heritage skills and we can look forward to seeing great strides being made in the near future.”