Sinn Féin Cllr Sandra Duffy has welcomed the proposed refurbishment of the old Victoria Hall at Culmore Point, a project she describes as ‘a beacon of light – an example of what groups working together on a cross-community and multi-cultural basis can do to break down barriers and promote peace-building and reconciliation.’
Commenting on confirmation that the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) have now provided the Culmore Community Partnership (CCP) with a letter of offer for £250,000 towards the development, she said:
“I am delighted that this much anticipated development would now be ready to begin on site within a matter of weeks.
“The plan is to develop the hall into a vibrant community hub providing much-needed rural services around the village of Culmore. Brought forward by CCP, the community hub will become the venue for a vital advice and mobile services unit.
“It will provide community services to the local population, particularly the older residents, including advice on health, finance, benefits, and employment.
“It will also provide a base from which to assist the development of local groups as they positively engage with residents by breaking down isolation and providing new opportunities and experiences in the arts, sport and local history. The community hub will also be an inclusive, welcoming and accessible space for cultural, educational, cross-community and social activities.
Cllr Duffy added;
“The refurbishment of Victoria Hall into a dynamic, focal point for local people is just the first step in the wider strategy to develop additional amenities and services in Culmore, including the further development of Culmore Country Park and a community and activities centre. The refurbishment project is the result of a unique partnership between Culmore Community Partnership, The Irish Society, DAERA, the Department for Communities, and Derry City and Strabane District Council.
“I would like to acknowledge the support from my fellow local representatives who voted in favour of Council’s agreement in principle to support the shortfall in funding, making the refurbishment of Victoria Hall and the creation of a vibrant community services hub for Culmore Village possible.”