An extensive redevelopment and regeneration scheme in Belfast continues to make good progress.
Located at 239-255 Newtownards Road, the £15.8 million Skainos project includes the construction of a brand new church and a multi-purpose community hall, along with offices and shops. Apartments for both sale and rent are also being constructed on the site, along with a crèche, a hostel, sheltered accommodation and a restaurant.
An education facility for use by Belfast Metropolitan College will also be included on the site, along with facilities for East Belfast Missions and Age Concern. A public square will help to connect all of the buildings on the development and will boast a number of self-sustaining features.
Work began on the project in October 2010, with Farrans (Construction) Ltd as the main contractor and Donnelly O’Neil Architects Ltd as the architect.
Prior to work taking place, a number of existing facilities were removed from the site including a hostel, a warehouse, a church and a graveyard.
Farrans Contracts Manager, John Cooper, said:
“Skainos comprises a number of different buildings that are all in one way or another linked together. On this project we are employing almost every type of construction technique imaginable – including reinforced concrete flat slab, timber and steel frames and brick and block – and all of the buildings will have their own distinct identity.
“One of the most challenging aspects was the removal of the graveyard early into the project, but once the graves were excavated and re-interned we were soon able to progress with the remainder of the demolition work.
“We are working on quite a congested site with building work taking place close to the boundaries, but so far everything is running to programme.”
John Cooper added:
“The Skainos project is very important for Belfast and it is creating quite a lot of media interest. A number of high profile dignitaries have visited the site during the regeneration scheme including Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, whilst a similar scheme is taking place to improve a local school.
“The aim of the regeneration scheme is to help support local residents, as well as encourage further redevelopment and future investment in the area. We are very proud to be a part of this project.”
Skainos is scheduled for completion in September 2012.