Magherafelt tourist centre on the move

St Swithin's Old School House in Magherafelt. INMU10 203
St Swithin's Old School House in Magherafelt. INMU10 203

MAGHERAFELT District Council is to relocate its tourist information centre from The Bridewell to the Old School House beside St Swithin’s Church in the town.

Members heard at their monthly meeting that the church had approached the council seeking support for the project.

The Heritage Lottery have provided some funding for the pre-development stage of the project and detailed plans are currently being worked up for the inclusion into a funding application towards its restoration.

Councillors were told by policy and development officer Anne-Marie Campbell that the church wanted to form a partnership with the council with the suggestion that one part of the building could be used as an information centre.

The proposal would provide the council with a number of advantages - a purpose-built space with high quality exhibition and office space to promote the district; it is on a main arterial route, and would be easily accessible with car parking available at the site.

“The relocation of the information centre would also allow the council to develop The Bridewell more as a community venue to promote Arts in the district,” said Ms Campbell.

“Land and Property Services have provided council with a rental value of the property. Assuming all refurbishment work is completed, they are of the opinion that the rental value of the property is £7,500 per annum.”

Proposing the council support the project, SDLP Councillor Jim Campbell described the Old School House as a “signatory building” which was located on the main road into Magherafelt.

“I would be certainly welcomed the relocation of the tourist centre,” he said. “Parking has been an issue at The Bridewell and that should be resolved with a move to the Old School House.”