CAP – Greater Village Regeneration Trust – Red Brick Project – Carnegie Oldpark Library

The Community Arts Partnership (CAP) is embarking on an innovative project, with the Greater Village Regeneration Trust (GVRT) and a wide range of other partners.

The project is funded through Heritage Lottery Fund’s Sharing Heritage programme and uses the arts to explore red brick heritage in the Village area of south Belfast and across the city.

Six young unemployed men and 6 women from the area will work closely with a range of practitioners from architecture, archaeology, ceramics and digital arts backgrounds for 12 weeks, beginning at the end of September, to record and interpret the Donegall Road (Village) Area of Townscape Character, where red brick terraces, factories and churches deserve greater attention.

The group will investigate red brick heritage in other parts of the city too, including the restored terraces in McMaster Street, to the east, off the Newtownards Road.  They will get to grips with hands-on repair of damaged brickwork at the listed Oldpark Carnegie Library in north Belfast, and form and fire their own brick inspired tiles for use in the Village community garden.

The project reaches out across the Irish Sea, to members of ‘Home Baked’, a Co-operative Bakery and Community Land Trust based in Liverpool, Belfast’s sister city, who will share their experience of breathing life into red brick heritage there.

Skilled artists from CAP will help the group imagine the future of underused landmark buildings, including the recently listed, and now vacant, 1920s Rydalmere garment factory.  A short film will be made of the group’s journey, to help project local aspirations for the area’s built heritage, beyond this highly diverse taster programme.




This week Carnegie Oldpark Library provided an excellent training platform for traditional building skills in today’s session, led by award winning builders, Martin and Hamilton, with lime supplied by Heritage Traditional Building Products.

Every restoration project represents an opportunity to keep threatened skills and crafts alive and to pass them on to a new generation.

Red Brick Belfast is using the arts to highlight the value in growing these specialised and satisfying construction skills by harnessing the talents of our young people.

Project partners include:

Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, (PRONI) who are helping the group research the area through its archive of historic maps snd street directories; Hearth Housing Association, whose conservation architect will guide the group’s visit to McMaster Street; Carnegie Oldpark Library, which will be used for traditional building skills development in the red brick repair work taster.

Martin and Hamilton and Heritage Traditional Products Limited will lead the conservation-led repair of brickwork and provide materials, including tools and lime mortar.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

  • Sharing Heritage is for any not-for-profit group wanting to explore their community’s heritage. With a commitment from HLF of £3m each year, Sharing Heritage grants between £3,000 and £10,000 are now available to groups who want to discover their local heritage. Projects can cover a wide spectrum of subject matter from exploring local archaeology and a community’s cultures and traditions to identifying and recording local wildlife and protecting the surrounding environment to managing and training volunteers, and holding festivals and events to commemorate the past.
  • Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. @heritagelottery

Contact details:

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New Belfast Community Arts Initiative trading as Community Arts Partnership is a registered charity (XR 36570) and a company limited by guarantee (Northern Ireland NI 37645).Registered with The Charity Commission as New Belfast Community Arts Initiative - NIC105169.