Ballymena construction company complete historic church project

Carlisle Memorial Church. (Submitted picture).
Carlisle Memorial Church. (Submitted picture).

Ballymena-based construction company Martin & Hamilton have completed a high profile restoration project at Carlisle Memorial Church in Belfast.

The Victorian neo-Gothic style building at Clifton Street dates back to 1875 and serves as a gateway to North Belfast.

A rapidly shrinking congregation caused the Church Trustees to sell it in the late 1970s and to finally close the Church in 1982.

In 2010 it was added to the World Monuments Watch List - the first Belfast building on a list of the 100 world monuments under greatest threat.

To preserve the building, its new owner Belfast Buildings Trust, which is at the forefront of urban regeneration in Belfast, undertook its biggest capital project to date and secured the

building’s future through emergency stabilisation work in 2012. This was followed by a highly successful capital works project which totalled a combined value of circa £1.2m.

Commenting on the restoration work, Fionnuala Jay-O’Boyle CBE, Founder and Director at Belfast Buildings Trust said: “We have been extraordinarily fortunate in our contractors on this exacting project. Martin & Hamilton, whilst never less than consummately professional, have also brought considerable flair, creativity and passion.

“What has been achieved is a huge credit to David Hamilton, Managing Director and Stuart Cupples, Site Manager along with the entire Martin & Hamilton team. I can only imagine that the Master Builder, who was James Carlisle, would have been a very well satisfied client.”

It was pointed out that further restoration and refurbishment work is required at the building, subject to its long-term future.