Templemore Avenue School, Belfast

An important Grade B1 listed former school which sits in an area of Victorian housing, set on a peace line between communities. 

Built in 1924 and once a centre for the local community, Templemore School fell into disrepair and suffered from significant vandalism after its closure in 2003. However, as one of the few buildings of distinction in an area of high economic and social deprivation, it still had the potential to contribute significantly to improving the local area.

The project to regenerate the school was led by the East Belfast Community Development Agency (EBCDA), an umbrella organisation supporting community development. The EBCDA had the vision to turn the school into a ground-breaking community development project. They wanted the site to provide space for local organisations and start-up businesses and be a meeting place for groups and organisations that bring together the adjoining Protestant and Catholic communities. We worked alongside and supported the EBCDA to champion the regeneration aspect of the project, raise the project’s profile and assist with securing funding. The project is now complete and the building, now called the East Belfast Network Centre, reopened in June 2013.

 

The former school provides a flexible space for a range of local organisations to provide a valuable service to the local community under one roof. From charities for young people and the elderly to counselling services, an advice centre and a children’s day centre,  Templemore Avenue acts as a ‘one stop shop’ for local residents.  The space is also used as a meeting place for groups and organisations that bring together the adjoining Protestant and Catholic communities.