£1.5m. boost for ‘Wee Nuns’ heritage plan

The 'Wee Nuns' at the Long Tower Chapel, Derry. (2305C42a)
The 'Wee Nuns' at the Long Tower Chapel, Derry. (2305C42a)

Plans for a heritage centre at the former “Wee Nuns” school have received a financial boost worth £1.5 million.

The Aras Colmcille project - which focuses on the shared history, heritage and legacy of Colmcille - is located in the grounds of St Columba’s Church, Long Tower.

The principal funders of the capital project are the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB), under the Walled City Built Heritage Programme, and Derry City Council.

Grainne McCafferty, chairperson of the Aras Colmcille Trust, told the ‘Journal’: “It is great to see the restoration of this old building and to see it given a new lease of life with a new and useful role. This building is familiar and dear to many generations of local people and the prospect of its restoration is a source of great pride and enjoyment to them.“

She added: “This centre will be an invaluable addition to the story of this city from earliest times and will provide additional opportunities for local people and visitors alike”.

It’s thought the building will be opened for June 9, 2013 – traditionally celebrated as St Columba’s Day in the city.