£2m boost for Apprentice Boys' centre

Published Friday, 19 October 2012
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The Apprentice Boys have said a £2m award of European Peace 3 money will help them share their history with people from all backgrounds in Northern Ireland, as well as tourists.

£2m boost for Apprentice Boys' centre
Apprentice Boys march in Londonderry. (© Pacemaker)

The new Siege Heroes Museum and Shared Space visitor centre in Londonderry will teach schoolchildren about the siege of Derry and the cash will also go towards refurbishing the existing memorial hall.

Jim Brownlee, Governor of the Apprentice Boys of Derry, said he feels the organisation has a story for people to take home and tell others.

"It's important that particularly the younger generations gain an understanding of first of all why there's an Apprentice Boys association, why there was a siege so many years ago and indeed what consequences came out of that.

"We feel we have got something very positive to offer and something very new as well in terms of an education and heritage centre," Mr Brownlee added.

Shaun Henry, who helps manage the European fund, said: "Upon completion the new visitor's centre and refurbished memorial hall will enable the Apprentice Boys of Derry to promote mutual respect and tolerance, with all sections of society through a greater understanding of our shared past."

Colum Eastwood, SDLP MLA, said the secured funding is a great achievement and a good news story for the city.

"The development of the Heritage Centre and Cross-Community Centre will add a further layer to our growing local tourism infrastructure. This will be very important as we strive to create a vibrant cultural hub at the heart of our city centre.

"These centres will hopefully promote a better understanding of our shared and diverse history, particularly for our young.

The Department of Social Development and the Republic's Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government have part funded the centre, which has also had assistance from the NI Tourist Board and the Apprentice Boys.

Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland said: "This project will promote a shared and better future by presenting an informed view of an historic chapter in the history of Londonderry.

"It will also encourage greater levels of mutual respect as it enables the Apprentice Boys of Derry to reach out to more people from across the whole community both here in Northern Ireland and beyond."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
seany in derry wrote (825 days ago):
a good investment from an historic point of view will generate much needed income for the local economy
gazza in belfast wrote (826 days ago):
End the day they should have got more after all the attacks on orange halls and protestant halls over the years which have caused millions of pounds of damage by republican bigots
william in coleraine wrote (826 days ago):
do the people whinging about this money think people travel to londonderry just to see the bogside? derrys walls are a unique feature of the city and bring thosands upon thosands of tourists to the city! the tourists will want to know about the history behind them! @homer have you been to londonderry ? the walls are about as hard to miss as that nuclear plant in springfield. @sean its not a disgrace that a museum for tourists thats going to attract money to derry is not a disgrace and ps learn to spell! people complaining about this centre really have not got a clue !
HOMER SIMPSON in SPRINGFIELD wrote (826 days ago):
Whataboutery brigade... I want EEC money spent wisely for the benefit of ALL... not on bigots or extremists ON EITHER SIDE... DOH!!!
Mark in Belfast wrote (826 days ago):
I can't say I agree with this (I'm not from either side of the fence I hasten to point out) But - when we are going to spend millions on a 'conflict transformation centre' on the former site of the Maize prison, it seems that it's free game for silly spending in this country.
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