Menu closed Menu open

St Columb's Hall

Derry, Londonderry, Northern Ireland

St Columb's Hall Trust

Grade A

Bringing 'The People's Hall' back into community use as a flexible venue

St Columb’s Hall is a strategically important building located adjacent to the East Wall of Derry’s renowned historic walls. Using donations from the “rich and poor of the city”, the Hall was built as part of the Temperance movement in 1886-8 by the St Columb’s Catholic Total Abstinence Society. It soon became known as The People’s Hall and served as a place of refuge and education, and then a venue for community activities, including cinema, theatre, dances, meetings, lectures, band practices and retreats.

Over the years, the building hosted several highly influential speakers, including Eleanor Marx, Emmeline Pankhurst and Eamon De Valera. By the 1980s, the Hall was attracting performers like Jim Reeves, Roy Orbison and Chubby Checker, as well as high-profile classical musicians and talented local bands, such as The Undertones. In the past few decades, however, the building has suffered from a lack of investment. Water ingress has caused damage, and the condition of the Hall has worsened as a whole.

St Columb’s Hall Trust was established in 2019 to regenerate the Hall and contribute positively to the city-wide community. The Trust propose to create a flexible venue that will accommodate a mixture of uses, including an iconic live music venue; a ground-breaking creative therapy centre of excellence, tackling trauma, addiction, mental health and dementia; a shared space for thought and debate, including youth assembly; and a film hub and flexible office space for the creative industries.

A Project Viability Grant from the AHF allowed the Trust to carry out a detailed condition survey of the building and engage stakeholders in the community; identify key partners and financial supporters; develop conceptual drawings; consider appropriate operation models; identify the economic impact and benefits of the proposed project; and to make recommendations on the best way forward in their Viability Report. This work has helped to unlock further support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, The Pilgrim Trust and Ulster Garden Villages. Most recently, the Trust secured a substantial grant from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ Community Ownership Fund.

AHF Funding

Project Viability Grant - £6,000 (2020)

Image Credits

Lorcan Doherty Photography 

of 1   /