Windsor Baptist Church, Belfast

Landmark Belfast building has held many guises over the years, but its latest resurrection is here to stay…

The former Majestic cinema on the Lisburn Road, Belfast, was one of the last remaining venues of its kind in the city. It lay empty for several years until Cleary Contracting were chosen to restore and refurbish the 80-year-old building on behalf of the Windsor Baptist Church. The building was turned into a furniture store in the 1970s and was once one of the city’s listed buildings until it was de-listed in 1998.

The refurbished building, which has recently reopened in a Covid-19 limited capacity, hosts Windsor Baptist Church’s new amphitheater, music rooms, coffee shop, meeting rooms and children’s centre.

It includes the latest in security, audio and network technology. The church currently streams video content including digital gatherings, baptisms and kids and tots programmes and a full spectrum of talks and audio content from the new building.

Cleary Contracting carried out a full strip-out, restoration and some extension work to get the building fit for modern worship requirements. “We stripped it right back to the outside frame, removed all the inside walls and stairwells etc,” said Damian Boyd, Contracts Manager. “The existing steel frame was altered and we added a first floor which involved a metal deck installation. New stairwells and roof were put in – basically we put everything back together using installations fit for the modern day and meeting all new regs.”

This included putting a new gas supply into the church to fuel the gas fired heating system. The four gas boilers run radiators and heating panels with a mechanical ventilations system installed to draw the heat around the building.

The existing roof to the rear of the building was cladded, so this was replaced with an insulated cladded sheet. The flat roof to the front was replaced with an insulated PVC roof system. As the old building didn’t have an external wall cavity, the team fitted 100mm insulation on the interior walls and boarded on top.

“We brought this old building up to modern standards, creating a fully insulated envelope,” said Damian.

Cleary Contracting carried out the construction services based on the plans from the design team. However, there were elements of contractor design associated with the metal deck flooring and structural steel stairs.

Horror show
Like most mature buildings, renovating the old Majestic Cinema unveiled a few horror shows along the way. “When we stripped back we discovered the existing structural steel frame was in worse repair than what we were hoping for. So there was additional work required to get the steel frame up to modern standard before we could introduce the new sub frame.  

“The site itself was another challenge. We were working in a restrictive space within the confines of the building. Located on the very busy Lisburn Road we had huge access issues; we only had one side of the building to work with. All deliveries and waste removal had to be planned and co-ordinated meticulously. Basically, we had materials brought straight into the building as we required them; there was no space for storage and we programmed deliveries slots to drop off out of hours as best we could.

Commenting on the completed project, Damian said, “We were very keen to work on this unique and interesting project. It wasn’t a straightforward project, but we like to be challenged and this job certainly delivered on that. 

“Along with our great team of sub contractors we were able to deliver it to the client’s and project team’s satisfaction. The client was delighted with the finished project. We pride ourselves in the quality of the finish and keeping our clients happy – and we ticked both boxes on this project.

“We had a very cohesive working relationship with all parties on this job – which you don’t always have. You could say were all singing from the same hymn sheet!”

Client: Windsor Baptist Church
Main Contractor: Cleary Contracting Ltd
Architect: Hall Black Douglas Architects
Project Manager: Hall Black Douglas Architects
Civil Engineer: Hanna + Hutchinson
Mechanical Contractor: Bateson Brothers
Electrical Contractor: WKK Electrical

Cleary Contracting, 53 Derryhollagh Road, Randalstown, Antrim, BT41 3HP
T: +44 (0)28 9447 2387



S McConnell and Sons Ltd crafted and installed 100m2 of natural stone cladding to the Windsor Baptist Church building.

A family-run business based close to the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland, the company has been in business for over three generations. The S McConnell brand has become synonymous with all aspects of traditional stonework, from refurbishments and renovations to stunning new-build projects.  

The company’s craftsmen are renowned for their ability to handle the most precise and detailed ornate carving jobs on display in projects such as the magnificent Normandy D-Day Memorial, Normandy; the Armed Forces Memorial in Staffordshire; and the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain.

S McConnell and Sons has won an extensive list of awards, such as becoming the first Irish company to win the highly acclaimed UK Stone Awards in the Restoration Category for their work on the Albert Memorial Clock in Belfast.

S McConnell and Sons use both traditional and modern technology to enable them to create buildings that contain exacting details that will stand the test of time. 

Cutting large stone is never a problem, they have two 3m diamond tipped gantry saws which handle size and volume. For slab work and string courses they have four dedicated profiling saws. Currently they have six CNC based saws used for contouring and shaping stone. For detail work their five hand carving specialist operatives take over.

Their face-bed slab polisher is ideal for putting on any finishes that are required. There is also a team of four hand-polishing operatives for the more intricate profile work. Delighted with the end result at Windsor Baptist Church, Alan McConnell Managing Director praised the good working relationship they had with the contractor which made the job run smoothly and efficiently.

184 Carrigenagh Road, Kilkeel, Co. Down, BT34 4QA
T: +44 (0)28 4176 3717

AA Specialist Joinery Ltd manufactured and supplied all the fire doors and internal joinery for the Windsor Baptist Church redevelopment project.

A dedication to adhering to the highest manufacturing standards ensured that AA Specialist Joinery, a certified fire door manufacturer, supplied the highest quality doors to this prestigious project.

All their fire doors are bespoke and carry BS and EN Approved Certification for 30 and 60 minute rating. Doors have been designed with improved acoustics in mind – prefect for a church setting, schools, public buildings and self builds. With a wide range of finishes and options AA Specialist Joinery are certain they can complement and enhance the architecture of new and existing buildings.

AA Specialist Joinery have over 20 years experience working on projects with major contractors across Northern Irealnd. That expertise and flexibility ensured they delivered the Windsor Baptist Church project within budgeting and programme time constraints.

T: +44 (0)28 9447 3191

Windsor Baptist Church have been a client of Absolute Technologies for many years, so naturally they approached their trusted partner early in the design process to specify audio, video and lighting systems.

The AV specialists provided sound, video and lighting systems for the church’s main auditorium, youth room and group rooms as well as back of stage curtains, a large digital signage screen in the front window, and audio and video links throughout the building.

Additional steel to support the speaker arrays needed to be fitted before ceilings went up, so Absolute Technologies used acoustic modelling to predict the coverage of the speaker system.

The church live-streamed to their congregation during lockdown and wanted to continue this when they moved into their new building. Absolute Technologies upgraded the camera and lighting packages to improve the quality and aesthetic of their digital content.

Commenting on the project, Colin McKendry, Operations Manager said, “We have worked on numerous construction projects with Cleary Construction and WKK electrical. Our teams worked very well together on site; particularly useful when it came to co-ordination and layout of the services in the main auditorium.”

T: +44 (0)28 2563 2222

Fortress Sefa D7 installed curtain walling and internal glass balustrading for the Windsor Baptist Church redevelopment project.

APS Logic 50 curtain walling was chosen with large parallel opening windows with the internal glass balustrading integrated to the rear of the curtain walling mullions.

D7 is the architectural glazing façade division within the Fortresss Sefa Group based in Newtownabbey. D7 specialises in commercial and private glazing projects ranging from £10k to £1m in value. Fire and security products are also part of their portfolio.

The D7 team have over 30 years of experience in the architectural glazing industry. This wealth of expertise and knowledge means all projects are carried out with a high standard of professionalism, with a personal touch.

Projects are managed in-house from contract, estimating and drawing stages and finally installation – carried out by their dedicated installation teams.

D7 continues to expand in project numbers and in operation size, along with the continuous upgrade in machinery and technology.

T: +44 (0)28 9034 2655

Structural steelwork fabricators, Green City Contracts Ltd erected around 65 tonnes of structural steel inside the envelope of the old cinema building of the Windsor Baptist Church project. They also carried out strengthening works to existing steel girders at first and second floor levels. 

Formed in 2013, Green City Contracts has worked regularly with Cleary Contracting Limited since inception. The Moira-based company fabricates and erects structural steelwork for industrial and commercial buildings and specialises in erecting steelwork in confined spaces within existing structures.

Commenting on the completed project, Thomas Walsh of Green City Contracts said, “The existing stanchions in the old building were formed from universal column sections with 15mm steel plates riveted to flanges. This was very challenging when trying to effect connections of new steel to existing stanchions.

“We have a good working relationship with Cleary Contracting Limited and together we overcame the various challenges presented by this project.”

T: +44 (0)7979 355709

Massey Catering Equipment Ltd designed, manufactured and installed Commercial Kitchen Equipment, Extraction System and Dishwashing Equipment to meet the needs of worshippers at Windsor Baptist Church.

The specialist commercial catering equipment supplied: The New Electrolux Professional Pass Through Dishwasher, Lincat water boiler and high output filter coffee machine, Commercial gas 6 burner oven range, Electrolux Professional Refrigeration.

Massey Catering Equipment has been trading since 1982, and is committed to delivering competitively priced, high quality catering products, which are tailored to the needs of their diverse range of valued customers.

Commenting on the project, Philip Massey, Director for Massey Catering Equipment said, “We are glad to be associated with this project and to work with Cleary Contracting again on another successful project.” Andrew Neville, Masseys Sales Representative project managed the sale, design and installation of the kitchen. 

T: +44 (0)28 9261 9009

Metal Deck Ireland (MDI) designed, supplied and installed a composite metal floor deck for the Windsor Baptist Church redevelopment project at the former Majestic Cinema building.

The Omagh-based company was asked to design and detail construction drawings for approval and then supply and install the composite metal floor deck with shot- fired shear connectors, leaving the floors complete and ready for the reinforcement and concrete pour.

Metal floor deck professionals Thomas Nugent and Conor McGlinchey founded metal Deck Ireland in 2015.  Since the company’s inception it has become firmly established as the leading provider of composite metal decking systems in Ireland. Metal Deck Ireland offers complete design, supply and installation of metal floor and roof decks, mobile shear stud welding and reinforcement and concrete placement.

Commenting, Thomas Nugent, Managing Director said, “This project was a great opportunity to work on. The building is a local landmark and we’re proud to be a part of it’s redevelopment for Windsor Baptist Church.” 

T: +44 (0)28 8225 9042

WDL Contracts Ltd carried out the ceilings and partitions, insulation and fire proofing on the Windsor Baptist Church renovation project. They also delivered successful design and build ideas for the ceilings.

Since 2006, quality workmanship and professionalism have made WDL the dry lining contractors of choice in the UK and Ireland. Based in Limavady, the experienced team is highly driven to meet tight scheduled programmes and deadlines.

Areas of expertise include demountable partitions, metal partitions, suspended ceilings, sound proofing, fire protection, insulation, complete office fit-outs and first and second fit joinery. 

Other projects include: Selfridges London; Victoria’s Secret – Bristol, Bluewater Kent, Sheffield, Birmingham, Brighton and Dublin; Chateau La Coste Vineyard, Marseille; Arthur Cox offices, Belfast; Geox Store, Oxford Street, London; Odeon Cinemas, Orpington; Olympic Stadium London for West Ham FC; Swarovski, London Stansted Airport; Tullamore College, Co Offaly, Ireland and many more. 

T: +44 (0)28777 22960

WKK Electrical Services Ltd carried out the full electrical installation for the Windsor Baptist Church redevelopment project including lighting and power, AV/PA sound installations, data Infrastructure, fire alarm and smoke ventilation systems and specialist wiring/heating controls. 

The AV and sound systems were quite specialised and required good co-ordination with contractors in order to deliver to the customer requirements. 

WKK  delivers the design, supply, installation and maintenance of contracts across the commercial, industrial, health and education sectors through the UK and Ireland. A family-run business, established in 1986, WKK continues to grow as a result of delivering work to the highest safety, quality and environmental standards – on time and within budget.

Commenting on the project, Chris Kennedy, Contracts Director said, “WKK was very pleased to deliver a quality electrical installation to the Windsor Baptist Church Community and can say that it was a pleasure to work with the Church Committee on this prestigious project, as many years ago the building was a cinema and has now been transformed into a modern and beautiful Church building.

“We have worked with Cleary Contracting on many previous projects and have always noted their professionalism, high quality build finish and commitment to their customers and look forward to working with them on future projects.”

T: +44 (0)28 9030 888