Planning permission has been granted for a new Seamus Heaney Interpretive Centre in Bellaghy.
The new facilities, totalling 2,036 sq mts, will provide for a community resource facility to include exhibition areas, library, arts studio, cafe area, amphitheatre and outdoor public space.
Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said: “This arts facility will be a fitting tribute to Seamus Heaney. It will be a tremendous community facility for people to enjoy and celebrate the Arts and a great cultural and tourist draw for Bellaghy, Mid Ulster and the North.
“I would expect that peoples from all corners of the world will visit it. As we approach the first anniversary of Seamus’ passing, I hope that, through this Centre, his spirit will continue to inspire everyone who come here to the heart of his home place.”
The proposal represents the re-development of a vacant brown field site previously occupied by the PSNI Station in the village.
It has as its main focus the ‘Seamus Heaney Interpretive Centre’ drawing on the strong links which Bellaghy has with the late Poet Laureate Seamus Heaney. Initially five jobs are to be created.