Fermanagh construction firm Tracey Brothers has been awarded the multimillion pound contract for the redevelopment of the Grand Opera House in Belfast.
The contract, valued at £7.5m, covers a two-year period, with works expected to start on January 26.
Based just outside Enniskillen, Tracey Brothers’ portfolio of restoration projects around Belfast includes Parliament Buildings at Stormont, Crumlin Road Goal and the SS Nomadic and Hamilton Dock in the Titanic Quarter.
It’s thought the Grand Opera House could close for around 10 months during the restoration programme, with the reopening earmarked for December 2020 to mark the listed building’s 125th anniversary.
A consultation carried out by the trustees of the Grand Opera House earlier in the year identified 119 roles potentially at risk of redundancy.
Around 40 jobs will be retained during the closure period. The trust said its other staff have been offered extended unpaid leave or voluntary redundancy.
Plans for the major restoration of the landmark building on Great Victoria Street were initially announced in 2017. Planning approval was granted by Belfast City Council in July 2019.
The Grand Opera House was last restored during the 1970s, and reopened in 1980.
In March, the trustees for the opera house received just under £5m from the heritage lottery fund.
Up to six firms were believed to have been in the running for the job.
The work will see Tracey Brothers refurbish the existing auditorium along with the bars and circulation areas of the opera house.
Tracey Brothers is owned by Gabriel and Richard Tracey. The latest accounts published by the company show it generated £28.8m in revenue for the year to March 31 2018, turning a pre-tax profit of £1.7m.
Recent major projects include the new South West College campus in Enniskillen and the St Patrick’s Academy campus in Dungannon.