|Courthouse in 2011|
The Crumlin Road Courthouse in Belfast was designed by the architect Sir Charles Lanyon and completed in 1850. It is situated across the road from Crumlin Road Gaol and the two are connected by an underground tunnel, which led up to one of the courtrooms. It is a Grade B+ Listed building, which shows its architectural and historical importance.
The courthouse closed in June 1998 when a new courthouse was built in the centre of the city and in 2003 it passed into the ownership of Barry Gilligan, a local businessman. Ten years later the building is in a pitiful state. It suffered serious fire damage in March 2009 and there was further damage with fires in August 2009.
Now a development study has been commissioned by my own department DSD, the Strategic Investment Board (SIB) and OFMDFM. Turley Associates are taking forward the development study and a public consultation day is to be held next Thursday (21 November) in Crumlin Road Gaol from 1.30 to 8.00.
Following the consultation a final report will be produced. This will include an economic appraisal highlighting development routes and will identify a preferred development option.
The Northern Ireland Executive has transformed Crumlin Road Gaol into a major tourist attraction and the regeneration of the courthouse is another stage in the regeneration of the Crumlin Road and adjacent communities.