A year after a landmark court decision allowed them to reopen in Belfast, Irish handicCrafts, a Belfast-based craftsmanship and handicraft cooperative, said it was now in talks with a Belfast government-appointed tribunal to reopen.
The cooperative has been operating since 1993.
The Cooperative Development Board of Ireland (CDAI) has been reviewing the cooperative’s application for a licence to reopen since April.
The cooperative’s main building at St Columba’s Cathedral was destroyed in a fire in November 2012, but the building and adjoining buildings remain standing.
In January, the cooperative reopened the St Columban’s Church in Ballygawley, Co Down, after a fire destroyed the church in 2014.
After the fire, Irish officials said the cooperative could reopen the church, as it was in need of some repairs.
Its founder and managing director, Stephen Foyles, told the Belfast Telegraph in January that the cooperative was currently in discussions with the province’s Department of the Environment about building a new building in Belfast.
He said that if the cooperative did get the licence to resume, it would have to make some changes.
“There’s been a lot of work to do in Belfast and it’s time to start afresh and we’re doing that,” he said.