Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Ryan Murphy has officially opened Clanmil Housing Association’s new £13 million housing scheme at the former Brookfield Mill on Crumlin Road, Belfast.
A major refurbishment project has created 77homes in the once derelict mill building, made up of 55 two-bedroom apartments; 3 two- bedroom duplex homes and 19 three-bedroom duplex homes. All are for people on the social housing waiting list and have been built by Clanmil with the assistance of £7,096,776 grant support from the Department for Communities via the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.
The Lord Mayor joined people living in the new homes for a celebration to mark the official opening of the development.
During a tour of the scheme, he also visited Grainne Johnston and her family who moved into their new home in 2022 after being on a waiting list for a number of years.
“This is a lovely place to live. My two boys have made plenty of friends here and they have space to play outside with the other kids. There’s a good mix of age groups too, like older people and families. It’s in a great location because we are near to the shops and schools, and I can easily get to my work just up the road in Ligoniel.”
Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Ryan Murphy said:
“I am delighted to join the new residents today to celebrate the official opening of Brookfield Mill. It is wonderful to see this landmark building being given a new lease of life by Clanmil, providing lovely modern homes in an area of the city where people really need them. I wish everyone many happy years in their new homes and hope they enjoy being part of this vibrant community.”
Brookfield Mill was one of the largest linen mills in Belfast during the 1850s but closed in the 1960s. It was taken over by the Flax Trust in 1977 and was used as a small business and education centre until the late 1980s.
In 2019 Clanmil began working with Kerr Properties and their team, The Boyd Partnership and EHA, along with Clanmil’s consultant WH Stephens, to redevelop the building into new homes.
Internally the building has now been transformed into modern apartments, while the original exterior stonework has been preserved.
The new homes have been designed to high levels of energy efficiency to help reduce heating and energy costs for the people who live in them. All have been constructed to Lifetime Homes and Secured by Design standards which ensure added security and ease of adaptation if required at a later date.
Maeve Monaghan, Chair of Clanmil Housing said:
“It is such a pleasure to celebrate the official opening of Brookfield Mill today with the people who are making it their home and the partners who helped us deliver it. I am delighted to hear how well the new residents are settling in and how much they are enjoying living here.
Clanmil’s purpose is to provide homes for people to live well, and we are committed to doing all we can to help address Northern Ireland’s growing housing crisis. We are working hard to bring more new homes to people in housing need across Northern Ireland and we recognize that demand here in North Belfast is particularly high. In addition to the almost 1,000 homes we already provide in this area, we are currently building 12 more homes at Alloa Street and we’re keen to do more.”
Residents enjoyed an afternoon of fun activities including face painting, performances by Streetwise Circus Company and portraits drawn by talented caricature artist John Farrelly.