Flowerfield Arts Centre is the latest 'cultural hub' to benefit from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure’s (DCAL) investment in state-of-the-art digital fabrication equipment, which will enhance community-based programmes across the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough.
The DCAL grant, in partnership with the Nerve Centre in Derry~Londonderry, has been used to purchase and install the latest in digital fabrication technology, such as 3D printers and scanners and vinyl cutters.
The equipment will be used to create a Digital Fabrication Suite and will be available to young people, community groups and users of the centre.
The investment is part of DCAL’s City of Culture legacy commitment to the North West. Managed by the Nerve Centre, the digital investment programme is benefitting an additional 15 community venues, including 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.
Near-by Ballysally Youth and Community Centre in Coleraine and St. Mary’s School, Limavady, will also enjoy a range of new equipment.
Minister of Culture, Arts & Leisure Carál Ní Chuilín said: 'At the end of the 2013 City of Culture year, I made a commitment to build on the success and momentum by supporting legacy projects. My Department has supported a vast range of projects, not just in Derry but across the North West and the Digital Fabrication Suite in Flowerfield Arts Centre is an excellent example of that.
'I am delighted that these facilities will be available to the local community and those further afield to enjoy, and I hope that many people will avail of the opportunity to become more creative and enhance their digital skills.'
Flowerfield, Northern Ireland's first operational Arts Centre, has been at the forefront of creative opportunity for thirty-five years.
Arts Officer, Malcolm Murchison said: 'We are extremely excited by this new technology, but more importantly by the opportunity it offers all individuals, young and old alike. Thank you to DCAL for making this a possibility through their generous funding'.
Director of Nerve Centre, Martin Melarkey said: 'The Nerve Centre has 25 years’ experience of changing people’s lives through digital technologies andcommunity development. We are delighted to be using our expertise to help increase public access to cutting-edge digital equipment and give communities from across the North Coast the opportunity to explore their creativity.
'By working alongside Flowerfield Arts Centre, we have identified their equipment and training requirements to ensure the creation of this Digital Fabrication Suite will tie in with our FabLab to support people of all ages and abilities to develop their skills.'