It’s been at the heart of the Creggan community since the 1960s and on Thursday afternoon the ‘Corned Beef Tin’ started a new chapter in its long relationship with the people of the estate.
The ‘Corned Beef Tin’ on Central Drive is home to the Creggan Neighbourhood Partnership (CNP).
The old building was demolished in 2013 and both Derry City Council and the Department for Regional Development provided the money needed to construct the new building.
The new building provides office space for the CNP, the Triax Neighbourhood Management Team, a youth drop in centre, a large hall, state of the art computer suite and there will also be a welfare rights service which will be provided by Dove House.
Shauna Deery is the CNP Centre Manager. Shauna’s first memory of the ‘Corned Beef Tin’ is attending a nursery school there.
“It’s hard to believe there’s been a building of this kind here for so long.
“I remember the nursery here, I also volunteered here for years and here I am in charge of the place now,” she smiled.
Although the centre was officially opened on Wednesday it has been fully operational for several months.
“The large hall is brilliant because it means we can offer it to the people of the community for them to host birthday parties and events. We have already had a few birthday parties in the hall and we have extremely competitive rates and we are quite cheap.”
Shauna added: “We are really excited about the future of this building because we really believe we have everything under one roof that we need to help the people of this community.”
Sinn Fein councillor for the local area and member of the Triax Neighbourhood Management Team, Kevin Campbell, said he was delighted to see the building officially open.
“I was born and reared in this area and I still live close by - I know what the people of this area need and I think the new ‘Corned Beef Tin’ will deliver on a lot of that.
“For the first time ever there will be a welfare rights service in the ‘Corned Beef Tin’ - I think that is vital because the reality of the situation is, Creggan is an area of high social and economic deprivation. The welfare rights service from Dove House will be invaluable to the people of Creggan.”
Also speaking at the re-opening of the centre was Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Elisha McCallion.
“This investment from the Department for Social Development and the former Derry City Council has given the Creggan and wider neighbourhood area a new lease of life. This new multi-purpose centre will continue to serve the entire local community and continue to serve as a significant community resource for the people of Creggan and wider area,” she said.