Salt will be ‘central’ to Magherafelt interpretative centre

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SALT will be the central theme of an interpretative centre proposed for the old school building beside St Swithin’s Parish Church in Magherafelt, a well attended public meeting heard last night.

The Salter’s Company of London, who built the town 400 years ago, made their wealth out of using salt as a food preservative and it was felt that this association reflected in the development.

Some Heritage Lottery Funding has already been secured by St Swithin’s Church for the work.

The other part of the school building will be occupied by Magherafelt District Council’s tourist information centre when it relocates from The Bridewell.

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

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 interpretative centre is being developed by G2 Design whose representatives made a presentation and answered questions from members of the public.

They welcomed ideas and suggestions from the public on how to make the Centre a business enterprise which would be both appealing and relevant to future generations.

They are also keen to hear ideas about how best to develop the space at the front of the old school on the Castledawson Road.