OVER £100k is being invested in a new creative village for visual artists in the heart of Londonderry.
The development - that will be located in the Pump Street area - is being supported by the regeneration company Ilex and the Department of Social Development (DSD).
Creative Village Arts, which received £135,000 from DSD’s City of Culture Capital Fund, will offer studio space for artists and an educational centre at Pump Street Courtyard.
The project, which is due to complete in April, will complement established venues like the Playhouse, Gordon Gallery and the Centre for Contemporary Art.
Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland said: “I am pleased that my Department has been able to provide financial support for this worthwhile project.
“Enhanced local facilities such as this one will provide a positive contribution to the UK City of Culture 2013 celebrations as well as leaving a legacy for young artists of the future”.
Ilex’s Cultural Broker, Caoimhin Corrigan, said: “This project will be a focal point for visual artists within the city walls and will play a unique part in contributing to our thriving arts community in 2013 and beyond. It will also bring a historic building back to life, adding value to the city centre.”
Creative Village Arts (CVA) Director, Janet Hoy, said they will distribute advice about the ‘business’ of being an artist, and will help create opportunities for exhibiting works.
She said: “CVA’s directors have a background in business which is a little unusual in the arts community, and we hope that with this experience, we can assist fellow artists with the more practical obstacles that can hinder their progression in making a viable living. “This can mean anything from budgeting for an Arts Council grant to co-ordinating submissions for open exhibitions. CVA aims to help galvanise a currently fragmented network of artists in the North West to come together, raise their profile and increase opportunities for all artists in this region”.
Managing Director of Inner City Trust (ICT), Helen Quigley, said: “We are delighted to support this project and bring one of our most characterful buildings back into use.
“This is just one in a series of transformative projects in the heart of the city which will be coming to fruition in the coming months and will be available for everyone to enjoy.
“The ICT is working hard with organisations like Creative Village Arts to bring the culture of Derry~Londonderry to life in this special year and provide a lasting legacy for years to come.”