Hearth was able to acquire the Riddel’s Warehouse in 2014 thanks to a loan from Ulster Garden Villages, and has been carrying out holding repairs to prevent further deterioration since. The building has been made available for meanwhile uses during this time and has hosted events by theatre companies, artists, musicians, film companies and others.
Hearth’s vision is to restore Riddel’s Warehouse, a unique grade B+ listed building at risk with an exceptional five-storey galleried atrium in the centre of Belfast, as a centre for the creative industry, providing the people of Belfast with accessible, inclusive and flexible performance and exhibition space with creative co-working and collaborative space above. It will be a living connection to the city’s industrial past and offer an environment to inspire the creative industry of the future.
Sketch plans have been drawn up to restore the building for public access. Funding applications are ongoing to raise the money to restore and bring back into use this unique survival from Belfast’s industrial heyday.
Riddel’s is a rare survival of Belfast’s Victorian past, and it is uniquely placed to attract visitors to the city, providing a critical link between the Titanic Quarter and the city centre. Its restoration would bring renewed activity to a street that is blighted by demolition, and would provide a vivid image of how Belfast operated at its industrial height.
Hearth is currently considering the strategic direction of Riddel’s and undertaking research and a needs analysis in relation to culture, arts, heritage and the creative industries.
Hearth welcomes expressions of interest in using Riddel’s in the long term, and is in discussion with a number of potential funding bodies.
Hearth Historic Buildings Trust
The National Lottery Heritage Fund
Ulster Garden Villages
The Architectural Heritage Fund
The Whitemountian Programme
The Garfield Weston Foundation
The Pilgrim Trust