Former RNID Belfast headquarters set for £4.5m refurbishment

Ciaran Toman and Daniel Jackson examine their development plans outside Wilton House.
Gareth McKeown

A LANDMARK Belfast city centre building is the subject of a £4.5 million residential development.

Wilton House, a listed Georgian townhouse and the centre for deaf people in the north for a century, is set to be transformed into eight new apartments as part of the multi-million pound regeneration project.

Located adjacent to RBAI and John Bell House on College Square North, Wilston House dates backs to the 1820s, but the former headquarters of the Royal National Institute for Deaf People has lay vacant since 2012.

The development proposals, spearheaded by Wilton Group, a partnership between Daniel Jackson (Cornerstone) and Ciaran Toman (Informed Percent), would see the creation of further residential accommodation in the city centre, as well as the replacement of the existing extension with a separate new build, reflecting the historic design of the listed building.

Daniel Jackson, managing director of Belfast-based Cornerstone believes the regeneration project, designed by RPP architects, has the potential to be "transformative" for the city.

“We are very excited by our plans for Wilton House, it will allow us to regenerate this wonderful building and give it a sustainable future," he said.

"Our plans will allow this listed building to be retained, but also revived to create new homes in an ideal location, at the heart of Belfast city centre. We will restore this building to its original purpose as residential accommodation. Our proposal will also contribute to the strategic goal of the Belfast Agenda which seeks to increase the city centre population. By bringing more residents into the city centre we can help achieve that objective and simultaneously protect a building of architectural significance for the future.”

Brian Symington, former director of the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) added his pleasure that the iconic Belfast building is set to get a "new lease of life" from development.

“It is great to see that this wonderful listed building is going to be rejuvenated and brought back into use."

"Having worked in the building for many years I understand its importance as a site for the deaf community in Northern Ireland. It was a wonderful home for RNID and I am sure that it will be a great home for the future occupants of the building," Mr Symington added.


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