Elmgrove Primary School, Belfast

It is the intention of the Education Authority, as the contracting authority, to amalgamate Avoniel Primary School and Elmgrove Primary School, located less than half a mile apart, at the current site of Avoniel Primary resulting in the provision of one large, viable and sustainable school with associated nursery and learning support unit which will be accessible to all the children of the inner East Belfast area. The phased works, to be undertaken at the two sites simultaneously, are due to commence at site early 2021 and will include:

  • Temporary carpark and play area on adjacent council land
  • Provision of temporary classrooms, school meals kitchen and dining hall at the Beersbridge Rd site
  • Refurbishment, re-ordering and extension of the existing Grade A listed building at the Avoniel Rd site to create a 21 base classroom primary school with detached nursery unit.

Both existing buildings are Grade A listed and were designed by Reginald Sharman Wilshere whose team were skilful in a number of architectural styles and are attributed to have built the first modern movement style schools in Ireland.

  • Elmgrove Primary School, Beersbridge Road was opened in 1932 comprising informal and picturesque composition around courtyards in south English vernacular style with rustic brick with plain tiled roofs.
  • Avoneil Primary School, Avoneil Road opened in 1935. Modern in style and built in brick it includes unique Art Deco panels depicting stylised elephants.

Extensive engagement with HED Historic Buildings was required in considering the impacts of the proposals on the listed buildings under Policy BH 8 of PPS 6 “extension and alterations of a listed building”.

It is envisaged that the works will be delivered in three phases over two years so as to cause least disruption to schools’ activities and curriculum delivery:

  • Phase 01: Creation if a temporary educational village at Beersbridge Rd and decant of pupils from Avoniel Road to that site
  • Phase 02: Refurbishment, reordering and extension of existing school premises at Avoniel Road site
  • Phase 03: Permanent migration of all of the pupils from Beersbridge Rd to the new facilities at Avoniel Rd
  • Phase 04: Decommissioning of temporary facilities at Beersbridge Rd site.

A BREEAM rating of “Excellent” is to be achieved for the new-build elements with “Very Good” for the refurbishment.


project details


Beersbridge Rd/Avoniel Rd, Belfast


circa £9.5M


Amey FMP/Education Authority


Todd Architects

project images