Northern Ireland

Conway Mill in west Belfast wins regeneration award

Conway Mill
Image caption Conway Mill won the award for its dramatic regeneration

A former west Belfast linen mill has won a UK-wide award for its successful regeneration.

The Conway Mill Preservation Trust was presented with the honour at the Regeneration and Renewal Awards in London on Thursday night.

Conway Mill, on the Falls Road, fell into neglect and vandalism during the Troubles before the regeneration project started in 1996.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness opened the newly restored mill in 2010.

It is now home to 16 business units, artists studios and space for community groups and plans are in place for 100 jobs to be created over the next four years.

The award was for the best use of a heritage building in a regeneration project.

Image caption The mill has been transformed over the last 15 years

Jim Neeson, the chairman of the Conway Mill Preservation Trust, collected the award.

"For the mill, the trustees, committees and local community, it is fantastic for the project to be recognised," he said.

"We must give credit to The Prince's Regeneration Trust as we couldn't have done it without them. It really shows what a community can do when it puts its mind to it."

Chief executive of The Prince's Regeneration Trust, Ros Kerslake, said she was "proud" of the trust's involvement in "particularly challenging" project.

"We are delighted that the work at Conway Mill has been recognised and celebrated.

"Conway Mill is a huge success we often refer back to it as a blue print for local people everywhere who are concerned to bring a much-loved historic building back into use."