Hold on to gallery, says digital hub boss

Conal McFeely. (1104BM3)
Conal McFeely. (1104BM3)

A leading digital hub in Derry has backed calls for the Turner gallery to be retained at Ebrington.

Conal McFeely, interim chairperson of the Hive Studios in Creggan, said it’s important that the government continues with its programme to provide digital hubs in communities, but not at the expense of cultural jobs and opportunities.

Ilex have said the plan is to turn the Turner gallery buildings at Ebrington, 80-81, back into offices for a ‘creative hub’ which could be a base for 50 jobs. The Turner show ends on Sunday.

A rally is to be held at Ebrington on Sunday at 2pm to support holding onto the gallery, which has state-of-the-art facilities.

Mr McFeely said: “Government has been a big supporter of our project and of other new digital hubs in communities across the North West - as regards capital funding in particular. And we also support whole-heartedly the idea of a new hub on the Ebrington site. It should not, however, require the dismantling of a recently-developed, £2.5m, arts facility, which has already won international renown.

“The creative industries are integral to the cultural legacy of the city. They are industries which can be developed and sustained within local communities - and hence will benefit local communities. It is counter-productive if these industries displace existing cultural jobs or endanger cultural opportunities, such as those provided by the new Turner Gallery/Danlann Turner.”