McGinley, said: “This is an excellent example of a facility
which uses the latest computer technology to offer both an
educational and a creative learning resource. By combining
a modern library service with multi-media facilities, it will
serve everyone in the local community and encourage local
creativity to flourish.
“The centre also typifies what Cultural Capital is all
about - people, infrastructure, products and services. It
adds richness to our lives and also ensures that this wonderful
building, a legacy from the past, is restored to build our
creative future. I congratulate all the partners involved
in this exciting initiative and I wish it every success in
The SELB’s Architects’ Department oversaw the
Market House project with DCAL being a major funder.
A performance developed from the original Tubular Bells, aided
by Tom Newman - producer of the best-selling album of the
same name - was staged to mark the occasion at which Mr Newman
was present. Mr Newman has been a mentor for the AmmA (Armagh
multi media Access) project and has worked with pupils and
musicians across the SELB area in the Tubular Bells CD project.
Armagh City Library boasts bright new facilities on the ground
floor and part of the first floor of the Market House where
the community will be able to avail of the latest internet-linked
computer technology as part of the People’s Network.
Refurbishment work ranged from stripping back panelling to
reveal the original stonework of 1815 to the provision of
facilities for people with disabilities, including a lift.
The SELB’s Youth Service will make use of the Youth
Point on the first floor.
The top storey is home to the AmmA Creative Learning Centre
incorporating a state-of-the-art recording studio and a digital
studio, a gallery, art workspace and film and editing studio.
These facilities are enabling people of all ages to develop
their creative talents as was demonstrated by the performance
and presentations of music and film at the opening event.
Speaking at the event, SELB chairman Mrs Moira Alexander paid
tribute to DCAL and the various funders who supported the
Market House project.
Mrs Alexander said she welcomed the financial support for
the AmmA project from Armagh City and District Council through
the Department for Social Development (DSD) Peace II, Measure
2.11 Town Centre Reinvigoration Programme.
Mrs Alexander said: “The inscription in Latin on the
outside of this beautiful building translates as ‘The
gift of William Archbishop of Armagh for the use of the citizens
1815’. Over the past two centuries the community has
used this building for a variety of purposes. As a result
of this refurbishment we look forward to the Market House
being a centre for people of all ages to develop their creativity
in this new century.
“I pay tribute to the Board officers who have been involved
in this project, from the ideas for the Market House were
first suggested through to the completion of the scheme which
we are celebrating today.”
DSD Deputy Secretary Mr John McGrath, who attended the event
said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to see
the wonderful restoration scheme that has brought the Market
House into the 21st century.”
Mr McGrath said DSD was pleased to have been able to assist
with funding for the AmmA project.
Also attending the event were Councillor Mrs Pat O’Rawe,
Mayor of Armagh City and District Council, and Mr Victor Brownlees,
Clerk and Chief Executive of the council.
Mrs O’Rawe said: “The Council is delighted to
be working in partnership with the SELB to bring new life
into the centre of this historic city.
“The facilities in the refurbished library along with
the AmmA Creative Learning Centre will complement the activities
going on in the neighbouring council facility – the
Market Place Theatre.”