‘Breathing new life’ into Derry’s commercial heart

The transformation of a former at risk listed building will breathe new life into Derry’s inner city.

Built in 1741 as the Custom House, the building at 33 Shipquay Street, has been purchased, conserved and converted by the Inner City Trust with assistance from DOE and the Department for Social Development (DSD).

It will provide offices and a facility to incubate and promote textile design in Derry.

The regenerated building has been officially opened by Stormont ministers Mark H Durkan (environment) and Mervyn Storey (Social Development).

Helen Quigley, Chief Executive Officer of Inner City Trust, says the project will “breathe new life” into a vacant historic city centre building.

She added: “It will help create sustainable employment opportunities by giving access to specialised equipment and a comprehensive business support service for existing and emerging fashion and textile designers.

“It will also help revitalise the skills of our recent past and enhance the potential for small, onshore manufacturing.

“In addition, the centre will host fashion shows, workshops, talks and exhibitions.

“All of this has potential to attract visitors to the city centre as well as serve the local population.”

The building sits at a prominent location on one of the main city centre arterial routes within the Walled City Conservation Area.