Strabane's Cultural Hubs

Community venues to benefit from DCAL investment of £50,000 in new digital equipment

Four community venues in the Strabane District Council area are set to benefit from a substantial investment in state-of-the-art digital equipment to enhance their grass roots programmes.

The Department for Culture, Arts and Leisure, in partnership with the Nerve Centre in Derry~Londonderry, has invested £50,000 in installing digital media equipment in Strabane Ethnic Community Centre, Fountain Street Community Centre, Lisnafin Community Centre and Churchtown Community Association in Castlederg.

The grant has been used to purchase iMac computers, iPads and accessories, software, and music-making and film-editing technologies. The equipment will be available to young people, community groups and users of the centres.

The Nerve Centre is managing a digital investment programme across 15 community venues across the North West, as part of its City of Culture legacy commitment.

Other venues to benefit will include The Hive (Rath Mor Centre), Rosemount Factory, Hillcrest House, the Shared Future Centre, Aras Colmcille, Social Capital NW and St Brigid's College – serving each of the four Neighbourhood Renewal Areas in Derry~Londonderry.

St. Mary’s School, Limavady, Benbradagh Community Services, Dungiven, Ballysally Youth and Community Centre, Coleraine, and Flowerfield Arts Centre, Portstewart, will also enjoy a range of new equipment.

Minister of Culture, Arts & Leisure Carál Ní Chuilin said: 'This additional investment will help to embed a lasting legacy of the 2013 City of Culture year by providing community organisations in Castlederg, Strabane and across the North West with equipment to allow them to enhance their existing provision and help them make a real difference to people’s lives.'

Bobby Rao, Strabane Ethnic Community Association chief executive and co-founder, welcomed the investment: 'As Strabane Ethnic Community Association has recently established its new and bigger premises in Strabane town centre it will be setting up a youth club for Ethnic minorities and local communities. The funding and equipment that is being provided by DCAL will be extremely helpful as it will provide SECA with all the amenities to facilitate a thriving youth club. We would like to express gratitude for giving us this opportunity.'

Martin Melarkey, director of Nerve Centre, said: 'The Nerve Centre has 25 years’ experience of changing people’s lives through digital technologies and community development. We are delighted to be using our expertise to help increase public access to cutting-edge digital equipment and give communities in the North West the opportunity to explore digital media.

'By working alongside each venue, we have identified their equipment and training requirements to ensure the creation of bespoke Cultural Hubs that will support people of all ages and abilities to develop their skills.'