Supported by a £181,800 government funding boost, the community-run St Columb’s Hall plan to repair the venue to its former glory and reopen to the public, advancing arts, culture and heritage in the city.
This is the latest step of levelling up funding to grow the economy in NI, in addition to the £49m funding pot of Levelling Up Funding, over £1.5m of funding from the Community Renewal Fund, and the Derry-Strabane Region City Deal which is worth around £250m.
With its unique architecture and rich history, St Columb’s Hall – one of the few Grade A listed buildings in Northern Ireland – has been a source of great pride for Derry since 1886.
The Hall has been used only occasionally over the last 15 years and has been closed to the public since March 2020, due to deterioration.
Before this, the Hall served the local community with special cultural events, live entertainment from local and global talent and speeches from world-renowned figures including Roy Orbison, Ruby Murray and, even, Emmeline Pankhurst who delivered a keynote speech at the Hall in 1910.
Minister for Levelling Up, the Union and Constitution, Neil O’Brien MP, said: “St Columb’s Hall is a beautiful and historic venue, which I’m delighted will now be able to serve the people of Derry-Londonderry City once again following this much-needed funding boost.
“Supporting the revival of great community assets like St Columb’s Hall puts control back in the hands of local people, restores people’s pride in the places they live and helps spread opportunity across the UK.”
Minister of State for Northern Ireland Conor Burns said: “I’m delighted that this historic building will be given a new lease of life to benefit the people of the city and the wider area.
“Projects like this demonstrate the UK Government’s commitment to level up places across Northern Ireland, and it’s great that this key local landmark will be restored for future generations to enjoy.”
The first round of successful projects was announced at the Spending Review in autumn last year. Applications to bid for the second round of the Community Ownership Fund will open in June.