Kevin Watson Group poised to set up camp in Cunningham Building

The Cunningham Building as public art in 2013.
The Cunningham Building as public art in 2013.

The development company, the Kevin Watson Group, is poised to set up camp in the historic Cunningham Building in Ebrington after planning permission was approved by Derry City & Strabane District Council's Planning Committee this week.

The former married quarters for soldiers at Ebrington Barracks, whose façade was covered entirely in grass by the artists Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey during City of Culture 2013, had previously been slated as a potential bar and restaurant, and full planning approval was formerly secured to that purpose.

However, at a meeting of the Planning Committee this week an application from the Kevin Watson Group to turn the building into offices was heard and approved.

Granted listed building consent was granted for the redevelopment of the Cunningham Building or 'Building 4' into office accommodation.

The plans involve the restoration of the former barracks, a Grade 2 listed building, and internal alterations to provide accommodation for KWG.

Constructed as part of the first site extension in 1875, Cunningham was the first married quarters on site.

It is the only remaining building which addresses Limavady Road and overlooks Cunningham Square, the main pedestrian entrance from the Waterside.

Up until 1970 the main entrance to the site was at Cunningham and over time the building served as a mail office, a regulating office and a divisional office.

The building was named after former First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir John Cunningham (1885 – 1962) who visited the base in November 1946 and determined that it should become an anti submarine warfare training centre.