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New Cultural Hub Opens in Greater Shantallow With State-of-the-Art Digital Equipment

23 September 2015

A new Cultural Hub in the Greater Shantallow area of Derry is benefitting from Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure’s (DCAL) investment in state-of-the-art digital equipment.

The DCAL grant of £30,000 has been used, in partnership with the Nerve Centre and Greater Shantallow Partnership, to purchase a suite of the latest Apple iMac computers, printers and cameras for a Cultural Hub that will be based in St. Brigid’s College.

The investment is part of DCAL’s City of Culture legacy commitment, which provided more than £6 million for legacy projects across the North West between January 2014 and March 2015. Managed by the Nerve Centre, the digital investment programme is benefitting an additional 15 community venues, serving each of the four Neighbourhood Renewal Areas in Derry~Londonderry, four in Strabane and the remainder in Limavady, Dungiven, Ballysally, Coleraine, and Portstewart.  

Minister of Culture, Arts & Leisure Carál Ní Chuilín said: “Following the overwhelming success of the 2013 City of Culture year I made a commitment to ensure a lasting legacy. This additional investment will provide high tech digital equipment, which is right in the heart of the local community and is accessible to all. My Department has supported a arrange of cultural hubs rights across the North West, from Portstewart to Castlederg and I have seen at first hand the real difference that they make to people’s lives.”

The equipment will be available to the Greater Shantallow community from next Monday, September 28 when the Cultural Hub launches its accredited training programme, funded by Derry City and Strabane District Council. Young people, aged between 16-24, are being encouraged to sign-up to the free OCN accredited training courses in Creative Media or Digital Music Production, starting in early October. Taster sessions for the courses will be held on Monday, September 28 and Tuesday, September 29, from 3.30pm-6.30pm, in St. Brigid’s College. For more information on the courses or to sign-up contact Colleen Chambers on 028 7135 1002.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Elisha McCallion said: "I am delighted that Derry City and Strabane District Council have provided funding to enable the roll out of digital skills training in the cultural hubs as part of the legacy of 2013. This project is a great example of multi agency collaboration in practice with the Council working with DCAL in supporting the cultural hubs."

The Mayor continued: "the training is a great boast to local people and will contribute towards increasing their employability. I wish all the cultural hubs every success over the coming months."

Director of Nerve Centre, Martin Melarkey said: “The Nerve Centre has 25 years’ experience of changing people’s lives through digital technologies and community development. We are delighted to be using our expertise to help increase public access to cutting-edge digital equipment and give communities from across the North West the opportunity to explore their creativity.

“By working alongside Greater Shantallow Partnership, we have identified their equipment and training requirements to ensure the creation of bespoke Cultural Hubs that will support people of all ages and abilities to develop their skills”.

Gerry McMonagle, Director of Learning at StBrigid's College said: “We welcome the investment by DCAL which has enabled us to install state-of-the-art digital equipment in the school. St. Brigid’s College is a school right in the heart of the local community and we are delighted to work in partnership with the Nerve Centre and Greater Shantallow Partnership, to provide opportunities for all members of the local community to further develop their employability skills.”