The Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Alderman Graham Warke, said he was delighted the new state-of-the-art facility was successfully selected by the Foundation following a request from Council last year.
The Foundation, which is an independent, grant-making charity that promotes excellence in a number of key areas including education, heritage, humanities and the arts, made the announcement today. .
Funding will now go towards the creation of an interactive museum / attraction in Ebrington Square chronicling the history of the city and district and its key maritime location, as well as the role it has played in significant historical events. The museum will provide an exciting visitor experience and archive sharing unique local collections with a global audience.
A business case for the £ 11.4million project is currently underway and it is hoped that the museum will open to the public in 2024. It was confirmed in May of last year that exceptional financial support of £ 4.8million for the installation had been confirmed as part of the Inclusive Future Fund element of the City Deal fund.
The announcement was a big step forward for the project, which has seen a number of setbacks, and this new stream of support will help move the plans forward, Mayor Warke said today.
The Derry North Atlantic Maritime Museum (DNA) will open in 2024 with plans for a second …
“I am delighted to welcome this announcement and to recognize the support of the Wolfson Foundation for what will be a major tourism asset for the city and the district and the region at large,” he said. “This project has faced a number of challenges along the way, so this support is particularly welcome following the recent City Deal funding announcement.
“The museum will become one of our most important tourist attractions and will add to the exciting mix of amenities that is really starting to develop at the Ebrington site. I really look forward to seeing this project move forward with the support of the Wolfson Foundation and our other partners such as the National Lottery Heritage Fund, The Executive Office (TEO), Garfield Weston Foundation, Galewest Investments Ltd and Department for Communities (DfC). “
Members of the council’s business and culture committee received an update on the project last year from council culture chief Aeidin McCarter, who confirmed that the DNA museum would be advanced before the other City Deal projects, allowing plans to move forward as soon as possible. Welcoming today’s announcement from the Wolfson Foundation, she said: “I would like to thank the Wolfson Foundation for recognizing the important role the museum will play in showcasing the region’s rich maritime history.
“This aspect of our heritage, including the emigration of thousands of people from our shores, until the submarine surrender of global significance in the Battle of the Atlantic, will now be shared in this facility at the cutting edge technology that will be a major draw for local residents, tourists and our diaspora everywhere. ”
Making the announcement today, Wolfson Foundation CEO Paul Ramsbottom said: “Wolfson has a long history of funding imaginative projects that bring historic collections to life. We are delighted to fund Northern Ireland – a priority area for us. This exciting redevelopment to create the New DNA Museum will inspire visitors to explore the city’s layers of history and its fascinating maritime collections. “