ENVIRONMENT Minister Mark H Durkan today announced nineteen new listed buildings in Belfast and also highlighted that Kelly’s Cellars will remain listed.
The Northern Ireland War Memorial Building on Waring Street and the modernist Danske Bank on Donegal Square West have been listed.
The Belfast Synagogue, the design of which influenced modern synagogues across the UK, has also been listed.
Further listings include, the Belfast Telegraph Offices in Royal Avenue, although its owners Independent News and Media Ltd didn’t want it listed as this could affect its sale to potential buyers.
Also included are the Shankill Mission Hall, a working man’s club on Danube Street (the first working man’s club in Ulster) and the West Belfast Orange Hall.
Speaking specifically about Kelly’s Cellars, which along with the portico of the Ulster Bank on Donegall Sq East were among structures being considered for delisting and will now remain listed, Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said: “I have listened to the views of consultees on initial proposals for delisted buildings.
“After careful consideration of all the available information I have decided to retain listing for a number of these buildings, including Kelly’s Cellars.
“Despite the fact that Kelly’s Cellars has been altered over the years I have concluded it is still of significant historic interest. Sufficient historic material survives to reflect this.
“There were proposals for listing of a number of buildings owned by the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.
“I am conscious of pressures on our Health and Social Care budget at this time and am therefore planning to meet with representatives if the Trust to find out what the possible impact of listing might be on their future development plans.”
Turning to the nineteen new listed buildings, the Minister continued: “The listing of these buildings is a welcome boost for this city.
“It recognises the rich and important cultural, historical and architectural tapestry of Belfast’s buildings. Some of the buildings now listed are familiar architectural gems in Belfast’s skyline.
“Others are much less prominent in our streetscape, but are very important because of their historical significance.
“There are though six structures which no longer merit listing due to significant structural change.
“These include Imperial House on Donegal Square East which was rebuilt in 2002 following serious problems with its previous tiled façade, two buildings that have been totally rebuilt on Royal Avenue as well as the building currently housing ‘New Look’ which was subject to a facade retention scheme in the early 2000s.
“All of these buildings lie within a Conservation Area and their external form will continue to be protected.”
The Minister added: “Our built heritage remains a precious and a finite resource.
“It is important that we work together to ensure that it is valued and enjoyed into the future and that its potential to contribute to our economic and social wellbeing and regeneration is fully realised.”