Local heritage centre awarded £10,000 Lottery funding

Rev Dr. David Latimer
Rev Dr. David Latimer

A local heritage centre has been awarded a £10,000 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The money will be used to refresh The Blue Coat School Heritage Centre in Upper Magazine Street.

The centre will tell the story of the beginnings of the Presbyterian community in the city in the 17th Century, the role they played in the Siege of Derry in 1689 and their contributions over the centuries to social, educational and economic development in the North West.

The Heritage funds will be used for a number of new initiatives, including an ambitious cross-community programme for schools and colleges.

This will be extended areas outside the city so that the project engages with a wider spectrum of young people, to explain the past and promote understanding.

The content in the Blue Coat School will be upgraded to improve the quality of the visitor experience.

A new website will also be created to promote, market and increase the international visibility of both the City and the Heritage Centre.

Additional volunteers will be recruited and given the opportunity to participate in an accredited training programme to provide personal guide services for visitors.

Blue Coat School Chairperson Dr.David Latimer said: “We are absolutely delighted with the Heritage Fund’s decision to give us this much needed financial support. We are also very grateful to Derry City and Strabane District Council for their support during the application process.

“We believe that this will provide a significant boost to improving the cultural heritage tourism offer in the North West where we are now developing a cluster of heritage venues on or near the City Walls.”

Sharon Archer,Investment Manager with the National Lottery Heritage Fund added “We were delighted to support this modest but important local heritage project. Places are enriched by their diversity of stories and heritage. We wish the team well as they embark on their project.

“It is thanks to players of the National Lottery that we can support local projects such as this one.”