Trust chairperson Julieann Campbell said:
“We are delighted that building work has now started on Phase II of the Museum of Free Derry. It has been a long and difficult road, but we have no doubt that this redevelopment will create a stunning, world-class facility that the people of the Bogside, and indeed, our entire city, can be immensely proud of.
“On a personal level, I must commend all those who have worked so diligently behind the scenes to ensure this project reaches fruition. Thanks to their dedication and vision, the important history of this city's struggle for civil rights, Free Derry and Bloody Sunday will be preserved far into the 21st Century and beyond.”
This development will provide the Museum of Free Derry with a new, state of the art, multi-media exhibition area. It will also create an archive and research area to enable access to the wide array of documents in the museum’s collection, a dedicated classroom facility and a flexible conference and transient exhibition space, all housed within a signature building that will give this story the prominence it deserves.
The new building will be complemented by a specially commissioned artwork created by local sculptor Locky Morris entitled ‘We Shall Overcome’.
The Museum of Free Derry first opened to the public in January 2007, and since then has hosted over 150,000 visitors from all parts of the world, and is consistently ranked at number two on Trip Advisors ratings for visitors to the city, behind only the city’s walls.
The new museum has been designed by a Derry-based team led by architects Brennan Associates, and is part financed by the European Regional Development Programme, Tourism Northern Ireland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Department for Social Development and Derry City and Strabane District Council.
Paul Mullan, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) NI, said:
“The redevelopment of the Museum of Free Derry will ensure that the public can more fully explore the museum’s unique collection and learn more about this important period in our history. HLF awarded £800,000 in support of this project and it is fantastic to see work get underway on site to upgrade and improve the facilities.”
Paul McNaught, Department for Social Development said:
“The commencement of construction works on the Museum of Free Derry is to be welcomed. The £300,000 investment by DSD will ensure that the new state of the art facility will further enhance the already vibrant tourism scene within the City and will encourage tourists to visit the Bogside providing opportunities for local people.”
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Elisha McCallion, said she was delighted the Council was able to step in to meet the funding shortfall for the extension of Free Derry Museum:
“I am delighted that Derry City and Strabane District Council has committed £175,000 towards the revamp of this facility. The Museum is one of the city’s most important tourist assets telling our city’s unique story with a focus on civil rights and the early years of the Troubles, including Bloody Sunday. Thanks to the funding, the Museum, when completed, will further enhance our city’s tourism offering, creating a world class tourist facility,” she added.
Notes for editors
Project part financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the European Sustainable Competitiveness programme for Northern Ireland.
The Museum of Free Derry is operating from temporary premises at 39 Shipquay Street for the duration of the building work. Contact details and opening times remain as before.
See also additional piece on removal of section of wall containing bullet holes.
For further information contact Adrian Kerr on: 02871 360880.