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Forgotten building in Derry given a new lease of life as a community hub

Major renovation of Victoria Hall in Culmore unveiled

Forgotten building in Derry given a new lease of life as a community hub

Victoria Hall in Culmore had been neglected for many years.

A 'neglected' historic building in the Culmore area of Derry has been given a new lease of life.

Following months of work, Culmore Community Partnership (CCP) last week finally opened the doors of the newly renovated Culmore Community Hub at Victoria Hall.

To mark the occasion, the local community group held a cultural showcase event as part of Good Relations Week 2020.

The Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Councillor Brian Tierney, joined community representatives and local residents at the socially distanced opening and heard more about the ambitious plans for the hub over the coming months.

CCP's Chairperson Neil Doherty said they delighted to be able to show off the newly-refurbished building.

"We are delighted to open our doors to the Culmore community during Good Relations Week.

“Culmore Community Hub at Victoria Hall is open to everyone in Culmore and further afield.

“We're looking forward to working with the local community to establish a vibrant, inclusive and safe place for everyone to enjoy.

“We were joined on Thursday by some local groups for our first official event, an evening of multicultural conversation, music, dance and food.

"Victoria Hall has a long history in our community but in recent years it had become very run down and neglected.

“The CCP Board has worked tirelessly to provide a Hub for community activities for the people of Culmore.

“We have had lots of help and support along the way and would like to thank The Honourable The Irish Society for leasing us the premises and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and Derry City & Strabane District Council for providing the funding to carry out the extensive renovations."

Speaking after the event, Councillor Tierney said: "It was a real pleasure to attend the opening this evening and to see for myself the fantastic improvements that have been made to enhance and restore this historic centre. I want to congratulate Culmore Community Partnership for the extensive work that has gone into the project.

"I had the opportunity to hear more about the Four Corners Initiative which will provide local people with opportunities to address priority issues, learn new skills, avail of essential services, and contribute to the creation of a dynamic and cohesive community over the next four years.

"It's fitting that the centre opened during Good Relations Week given the pivotal role the hub will play in promoting community relations and the ambitious plans to improve the lives of everyone in the Culmore area, regardless of age, culture or background."

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