The move will boost efforts to preserve Northern Ireland’s built heritage and will see the 4,000 home landlord adopt around 100 homes of architectural significance that have been restored by Hearth since 1978. The historic properties include Wallace Park Gate Lodge which was brought back into use in 2005 and homes on Camden Terrace in Belfast along with a number of restored schoolhouses, unique almshouses and distinctive townhouses throughout Northern Ireland.
Experienced staff from the award-winning conservation specialist have joined the Clanmil team, bolstering its capacity to develop important older buildings into unique, high quality social homes.
Steve Amos, Chair of Clanmil Housing said:
“The merger is good news and increases the potential for more dormant and derelict spaces to be transformed into much-needed social homes. It will build on both organisations’ excellent reputations, our track records and our shared passion for restoring older buildings, enabling us to meet a wider range of housing and community needs. Thanks to our combined resources we are in a strong position to find creative and sustainable ways to tackle the housing shortage and ensure that historic buildings are brought back into full use.”
Clanmil is currently restoring the former Blood Transfusion building on Durham Street, a Grade B listed building. A conservation-led approach is safeguarding the building’s character and heritage while providing 23 much-needed homes. Following the merger, the cottages at Rosetta in South Belfast, acquired for restoration by Hearth, will also be refurbished this year.
Alastair Rankin, Chair of Hearth said:
“Our organisations have collaborated on many occasions. By joining forces we can deliver great outcomes for residents and identify new opportunities that can be achieved by drawing on our collective strengths. We know the impact that losing historic buildings can have on communities and the urgent need to maximise existing spaces. We will be able to build on Hearth’s award-winning conservation initiatives and Clanmil’s reputation as an innovative and tenant-focused landlord. This merger will secure a wide range of benefits for our residents.
Consultations, including with residents, staff and other stakeholders, were carried out as part of the process leading up to the merger.