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Gilford Mill

 Gilford Mill, south of Belfast in Gilford, Country Down

KEY FUNCTIONS PERFORMED:

Development Design Review, Planning Support, Leasing and Operational Management Set-up

Gilford Mill, south of Belfast in Gilford, Country Down, a large 19th Century linen mill was intended to become the first and premier designer outlet in Northern Ireland. Gilford Mill is conveniently located by road from Belfast, its airports and local major towns and is under 2 hours from Dublin and Dublin airport. The Mill will be served by regular bus shuttle services from nearby Portadown Station and local towns. It is 10 minutes by car from the Belfast-Dublin A1 road link, currently being upgraded to motorway standard with completion by 2005.

Gilford Mill will be a cultural and leisure centre of excellence – a synthesis of outlet retailing, arts, exhibition and event spaces set in magnificent riverside parkland. The mill pond is being refilled to create a new lake with surrounding walkways and sculpture trails, and the whole 32-acre site landscaped, to include parking for 770 cars. 

The listed buildings, dominated by the six-storey multi-bay mill, will be restored to their original architectural splendour by local craftspeople using traditional materials and techniques. Similarly, landscaping to the lake and surrounding areas will be completed by Banbridge District Council, thanks to its working partnership with Gilford Mill Limited. 
 
It was to be finished to the highest specifications, the first phase will deliver 110,000sq ft of lettable retail and restaurant space and 25,000sq ft of arts, exhibition and entertainment areas. Later phases would include further leisure, speciality retail, residential and possible hotel accommodation, subject to appropriate consents.The 50 or so retail units, and associated restaurant areas are located on two natural ground floor levels in both the new and existing buildings. The lower ground level provides direct access from the main car park, while the upper ground floor provides access directly to the lakeside walkway. Both levels are served by pedestrian malls and linked vertically by escalator, lifts and staircases.

Despite significant progress the Client abandoned this project in favour of a new site acquired by them on the A1 and which has now been completed.

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