Bright future for historic building with dark past

PLANS for the pioneering redevelopment of the old Enniskillen Workhouse have been revealed.
The Council is getting set to begin work on transforming the 19th century building into a heritage hub that will also include enterprise facilities.
Recognising the historical importance of the workhouse and its significance in the town, the Council is held two ‘drop in’ consultation events at Enniskillen Castle on Wednesday so local people could share their ideas for the project.
“‘The Workhouse’ project will sympathetically restore and bring back life back into the entrance block of the former Enniskillen Workhouse,” said a Council spokeswoman.
“Thus, ensuring that the stories of the Workhouse, and the lives of those associated with it, are preserved and retold.”
Enniskillen Workhouse was one of many similar institutions across Ireland during a dark and difficult time in the country’s history. Many Fermanagh people, for whom the workhouse was their last resort, lost their lives there.
The Council is keen to ensure the project is sympathetic to the building’s past and included in the redevelopment plans is a dedicated heritage trail on the ground floor.
“This space will be used for reminiscing, oral history, exhibitions, and the conservation and display of fascinating workhouse records and minute books.”
The project will also incorporate heritage and skills training, for apprentices or local mainstream construction professionals for example, and school education programmes.
Upstairs will also include state-of-the-art enterprise facilities.
“In the spirit of the workhouse, the business incubation hub will give a helping hand to young people in our community to develop their business ideas, keeping local talent in the local economy,” said the spokeswoman.
The project is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and is running alongside the development of the new state-of-the-art South West College campus. Today’s drop in events at Enniskillen castle takes place from 2-5pm and from 6-8pm. Key people involved in the project will be available and the public will have the chance to share their ideas or find out more about the plans.

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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