Plans for interpretive centre at Magherafelt Old School House

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AMBITIOUS plans are underway to develop an interpretive centre at the Old School House beside St Swithin’s Church in Magherafelt.

Earlier this year the MAIL revealed that the local District Council is plannning to relocate the tourist information centre from The Bridewell to the Old School building.

Following discussions with the council the proposed interpretive centre will be included in the development.

The project’s steering group in conjunction with G2 Design are hosting an information evening this Thursday at 7pm in the church hall.

The Rector, Canon Terence Scott said the purpose of the evening is to bring local people together and provide them with an update.

“It is also to seek their views and opinions on the current interpretative concepts as developed by G2 Design, which is based on the Salters’ Company and their association with salt.”

David Seffen, Project Co-ordinator, added: “The interpretive brief and the story of salt is fascinating and welcomed input from the wider community on the outline designs which will be presented on the evening by G2 Design Partners.”

It is understood St Swithin’s received around £20,000 of development funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The project aims to restore the old school which was built in two stages - 1844 the Boys School and in 1858 the Girls School.

A teacher’s residence is also on the site which is now the church sexton’s residence and sits between and adjoining the two old school buildings.

The council agreed there were a number of advantages to the site: a purpose-built space with high quality exhibition and office space, easily accessible with car parking available