The former Lidl store in Portadown will enjoy a new lease of life after plans by the Irwin M&E company were given the go-ahead.
The store at 21 Armagh Road closed in June 2021 and the premises have been vacant ever since, with a new Lidl outlet opening as the High Street Mall anchor tenant after a £4 million facelift.
Armagh I revealed last July that the old Lidl store had a new owner and fresh proposals had been brought forward.
It is another local business – Irwin M&E, which is based at the Carn Industrial Estate – which acquired the unit.
The mechanical and electrical company has now been granted approval by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council for a change of use.
The business intends to convert the premises into offices and a research and development facility.
Irwin M&E also intend to add a mezzanine floor and ground floor extension to the front of the building, with ancillary storage and warehousing.
It will see floorspace increase from around 13,700 sq ft to close to 17,700 sq ft.
Irwin M&E provides a full range of mechanical and electrical installation and maintenance services to clients – across both public and private sectors – throughout the UK and Ireland, in fields including education, healthcare, heritage, workplace, hospitalty and residential.
It has its headquarters at Carn, but maintains a base in Belfast too.
Previous projects have included works on Rathfarnham Castle in Dublin, the Bushmills Inn, the Ulster and Musgrave Park Hospitals, Queen’s University, Belfast and the University of Surrey.
The plans by Irwin M&E for the former Lidl store represent a significant investment and it is a move which is expected to create jobs both directly and indirectly, during construction works and upon completion.