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Apprentice Boys of Derry – Siege Museum Project

Development of a shared history museum and visitor centre at the Apprentice Boys' Memorial Hall premises in Society Street.

Project Description

The Apprentice Boys of Derry (ABOD) Trust are developing a shared history museum and visitor centre at it’s Memorial Hall premises in Society Street, Derry~Londonderry through a major c£4m capital refurbishment and extension to an existing 13,000 square foot listed building. Derry City & Strabane District Council (DCSDC) is acting as lead partner on the project and are the Senior Responsible Owner for the project.

The new visitor centre will house an interactive exhibition on the Great Siege of Derry~Londonderry of 1688-89 and a library and study area.

The purpose of the development is to present the history of the Siege in its context in order that a common understanding of the shared history of the Unionist and Nationalist people of Derry~Londonderry and the North West may be developed for the benefit of all interested parties from the island of Ireland and beyond.

The hope is that the presentation of the events leading up to the Siege will explain why it happened and that the record of the suffering endured by the citizens caught within the City will facilitate an understanding of why the annual Siege commemorations take place.

Through a process of education and cultural awareness, the ABOD Trust and their partners aim to create greater tolerance and ultimately an acceptance of the right of the Apprentice Boys to continue to commemorate the Siege and with that acceptance, peaceful co-existence. The new visitor centre will also add to the burgeoning collection of museum and tourist assets in Derry~Londonderry.

The project has attracted major financial support from SEUPB with an associated significant Departmental contribution from DSD (now Dept. for Communities) and has also attracted significant financial support from Tourism NI and NIEA. In addition, DCSDC, as lead partner, have contributed a range of in-kind services to support delivery of the project.

Key milestones for the project include:

  • Approval of the business case and the project funding package – January 2013
  • Contractor Appointed – May 2014
  • Commencement of Construction – August 2014
  • Completion of Construction – August 2015

Project Status

April 2015: Construction commenced in August 2014 with the planned programme of works currently well advanced. Construction of the new extension is progressing well with the structure at roof level. Internal decorative works to the existing Memorial Hall building have commenced. Tenders for the fit-out of the museum exhibition were issued in April 2015. Completion of construction is planned for 28th August 2015 with a soft opening of the museum planned for September 2015.

SIB Involvement

SIB have been requested to support the lead partner (DCSDC) and the Apprentice Boys of Derry (a voluntary organisation) through providing strategic advice to the Project Board and providing full project development support from business case stage, through procurement and construction stage.

Critical project development support has been provided since 2012 across a range of procurement, legal, technical and financial disciplines by the SIB Project Development Manager. The appointed SIB Project Development Manager also chairs the Project Steering Group driving the day-to-day delivery of the project through effective liaison with the ICT and the IST and a range of project funders.

SIB is also working with DCSDC and the Apprentice Boys to build capacity within the Siege Museum Management Committee and staff team to prepare the Project for operational readiness.

For further information contact

Ciaran McGurk, Project Manager

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