Ilex, the urban regeneration company for Derry~Londonderry, has helped St Columb’s Park House Activity and Reconciliation Centre to enhance their audio-visual, ICT and conferencing facilities to enable additional cultural activities to take place in the facility for City of Culture 2013 and beyond.
Funding of £31,317 was awarded to St Columb’s Park House by Ilex under the Department for Social Development’s City of Culture Capital Fund to improve the centre for current users while allowing a range of external organisations and cultural practitioners to also host activities at the premises.
The building, which has also undergone extensive renovation, was officially opened today (Friday 16 November).
Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland said: “My Department’s investment in this project will enhance facilities for a range of external organisations and cultural practitioners that make use of the facilities at St Columb’s Park House to host their activities.”
Ilex’s Cultural Broker Caoimhin Corrigan said: “St Columb’s Park House is a key cross-community resource which has now been completely transformed so a variety of organisations can avail of the greatly enhanced services it provides.
“The conferencing facilities and new technologies will mean that a broader range of events and projects can be hosted at the venue to complement next year’s City of Culture celebrations”.
Brian Dougherty, Director of St Columb’s Park House added: “The Board and staff of St Columb’s Park House are delighted to officially open our refurbished premises. We are grateful to all the funders who contributed to the renovation and extension of the building as it has allowed us to provide a modern facility with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment whilst managing to retain the character of this Grade B listed building.
“Our premises are now also fully accessible and our dormitaries, which accommodate up to 50 people, are en suite for the first time. We are also particularly excited with the extension to the building, a modern cafeteria which will cater for our clients and will also be open to the public.
“The funding has allowed us to provide a facility in the heart of the Park which will be a great asset for UK City of Culture in 2013. It also allows us to progress in our aim of becoming self –sustainable as a non-profit making organization.”