Monday, 26 November 2012

Built heritage is cultural heritage

More than 61,000 people took part in this year's European Heritage Open Day by visiting one of the historic buildings and architectural treasures that were opened on the day.  That shows just how much interest there is in our built heritage and how much it is valued.
Recently I visited a new housing development at Whiteabbey where an old house named Abbey Hill at 466 Shore Road, Newtownabbey, has been turned into four beautiful new apartments in a development carried out by Oaklee Homes Group, one of our local housing associations.  Abbey Hill had been derelict for some time but the new £1.1m scheme has delivered ten homes and my department supported this through the Housing Association Grant.

Later the same day I visited the new Ards Community Network Hub in Newtownards to officially open the new complex.  This was formerly two large houses but they have been turned into magnificent offices for a number of community and voluntary organisations.

Here are two good examples of older buildings being retained and brought back into use.  Such buildings are part of our built heritage and they should also be valued as part of our cultural heritage.

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