Announcement of Government Support for New Facility for London Irish Centre, Camden, London
The Government has committed £1m towards the redevelopment of the London Irish Centre in Camden in London as part of the Global Ireland 2025 initiative. The decision was announced at an event in the Barbican, London to mark the end of Culture Ireland, GB18, a year-long arts programme to celebrate and renew Ireland’s cultural ties with Britain.
The London Irish Centre opened in 1955 to meet the needs of newly arrived Irish emigrants and became a significant social and cultural venue for the Irish community in London. The plan is to develop the building to become a world class facility and a fundraising campaign was launched last year by the Centre.
Announcing the funding at an event at the Barbican London Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan said: “The current facility has a great heart and plays a hugely important role for Irish diaspora in London as well as the new audiences it attracts for its strong and diverse arts programme. The new building will accommodate 21st century needs and reflect the national self-confidence Ireland possesses and our shared desire that we be ambitious in promoting the interests of Ireland on the world stage. This investment is indicative of our belief that is critical for us to maintain build on our strong cultural relations with Britain.”
Speaking at the same event, Minister of State for the Diaspora, Ciarán Cannon, added: “For over 60 years, the London Irish Centre has provided help, support and care to the Irish community in London, particular to its most vulnerable members. I am delighted that the Irish Government is working with the LIC to build a centre that will allow it to continue to serve the diverse needs of London’s Irish community in the years to come.”
Global Ireland sets out a number of key actions across culture, heritage, business and tourism sectors to be undertaken in order to increase the impact of Ireland’s global footprint. Global Ireland places an emphasis on the importance of Ireland’s arts and culture in the global arena and recognises the strength of Ireland’s culture and creativity as a unique power which allows Ireland to connect globally. Included specifically In the Global Ireland plan is the support for the development of an Irish Centre in London.
The London Irish Centre will be a flagship Irish cultural centre, alongside the Irish Arts Center, New York and Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris which present a year round programme of Irish artists. It will also complement the work of other community organisations in London who are very active in promoting Irish arts and culture.