Caw/Nelson Drive residents celebrate opening of New Community and Cultural Centre

4th October 2012

Ilex, the urban regeneration company for Derry~Londonderry has announced the completion of the refurbishment of a community and cultural centre in the Caw/Nelson Drive estate.

The centre, which will open its doors today (Thursday), is now a fully accessible cultural base in the heart of the neighbourhood which will host a broad range of cultural activity including performing arts, drama, music, language, visual arts, handicrafts, exhibitions and meetings.  Significantly, the CAW/Nelson Drive estate will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2013, coinciding with UK City of Culture.

Ilex’s Cultural Broker Caoimhin Corrigan said: “This centre provides the space for all the residents of Caw/Nelson Drive to access first-class facilities to enable local talent to be cultivated and helped to flourish. It will be a cultural hub for people in this area as well as offering a state-of-the-art computer, conference and office facility.

“These types of projects will be a lasting legacy of our culture year, benefiting communities and continuing to enhance our cultural offering beyond 2012.”

Co-ordinator of Caw/Nelson Drive Action Group, Linda Watson said: “This wonderful new community centre marks the beginning of an exciting new era for the residents of the Caw/Nelson Drive area. It is a great boost for people living here as modern IT and multipurpose rooms are now fully accessible to everyone as well and we are safe in the knowledge that we will have somewhere to hold our activities and programmes, particularly as we celebrate both the 50th anniversary of Nelson Drive estate and the UK City of Culture next year. The centre will also provide a wide range of community projects and outreach services including welfare rights, Debt Action NI and Job Assist. This will be a lifeline for many people in our community and I would like to thank Ilex and all those involved in making this long-awaited revamp a reality.”

The Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland added: “This substantial refurbishment is a great boost for the people of the Caw/Nelson Drive area.  This facility will enable the local residents to continue regeneration of their area by offering much needed additional services which will provide space not only for physical activity but also for a range of arts and cultural activities.”

“Our communities and local people are the lifeblood of our towns and cities. Through the Department’s investment in projects like this one we are encouraging local communities to thrive and be proud of where they live.  This highly valued facility will be a great asset for the area as it approaches its 50th anniversary in 2013”.