Political impasse delays Maritime Museum plans

An artist's impression of how the Maritime Museum will loomk when completed.
An artist's impression of how the Maritime Museum will loomk when completed.

The political stalemate at Stormont is delaying efforts to secure the funding needed to start work on Derry’s planned new Maritime Museum.

Derry City & Strabane District Council has confirmed that several million pounds has already been dedicated to the project, but that it is still awaiting funding from a number of other bodies.

The new museum and Archive Centre will be located across three buildings running alongside Ebrington Square.

It will include new galleries and an archival and genealogy section, as well as educational facilities.

The Maritime Museum and Archive Centre will celebrate Derry and Lough Foyle’s historic maritime importance over the centuries, including its role as a vital naval base during and after the Second World War.

A Council spokesperson confirmed that Council has committed up to £2m for the Maritime Museum and that the Council team have secured £500,000 from the Garfield Weston Foundation.

She added: “Council continues to actively work towards raising the additional funds required, which includes the HLF Round 2 application for £2.8m and other potential funders are the Executive Office, £3.3m, and Tourism NI £2.5m.

“However progress on this work has been temporarily delayed as a result of the current political impasse.

“Both Tourism NI and the Executive Office, despite their firm support for the project, are currently unable to confirm funding as their budgets require Ministerial approval. Council is fully committed to the museum and looks forward to the project’s continued progress.”

It emerged back in September 2016, that the £11.3m Derry Maritime Museum would not now open until Spring 2020 - almost a decade after a feasibility study for the project was completed.

The museum will feature exhibition galleries, archive reading rooms, learning spaces, a café, and shop.