The Royal Society of Ulster Architects (RSUA) returned to Clifton House Heritage Centre for their most recent Historic Building Conservation course.

The intensive 5 week course, accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects, was held in the oldest working building in Belfast and it is entirely fitting that they recently returned to the venue as the building itself is undergoing its own conservation programme.

Clifton House opened as the Poor House and Infirmary in Belfast in 1774. A series of priority works on this Grade A listed building commenced on 27th February and will continue for a period of 12 weeks. Works, carried out by Martin and Hamilton Contractors, under the brief of the Consarc Design Group, will include repairs to brickwork, stonework and render of external walls, repairs to rainwater goods and external re-decoration works.

The conservation of the building has generated interest from the School of Natural and Built Environment at Queens University and the Belfast School of Architecture at the University of Ulster as well as a return visit by the Royal Society of Ulster Architects. It is hoped that a future conference on historic building conservation will be undertaken in Clifton House, using this magnificent building as an example of current conservation techniques.

The works currently being carried out will ensure that the oldest working building in Belfast is maintained for at least another 243 years.