Derry named city of culture - Museums Association

Derry named city of culture

The city of Derry has been named the UK’s first city of culture in 2013, beating Birmingham, Sheffield and Norwich.
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Rebecca Atkinson
The minister for culture Ed Vaizey, who made the announcement at an event in Liverpool, said Derry’s bid highlighted the economic and social benefits being UK city of culture could bring.  

“This is a truly great moment for Derry,” he added. “The panel was unanimous in its recommendation because of its compelling cultural programme, the way it seeks to address the city’s past and the enthusiasm and commitment of the city and its supporters.”

The competition, which was launched by the previous government following Liverpool’s success as European capital of culture in 2008, allows the winning city to devise a programme of events and projects that reflects its identity, showcases its culture and raises its profile, opening the doors to increased private investment and regeneration.

Derry will finalise its cultural programme by November 2011, but its plans include a contemporary music and dance festival, an international festival of contemporary visual arts events and a pageant on the River Foyle.

The city plans to invest more than £200m in its infrastructure and pursue World Heritage Site Status for the City Walls. It has already secured over £1.5m of public and private investments towards the final programme, and hopes the year of culture will create over 3,000 jobs and double visitor numbers.

Valerie Watts, chief executive of Derry City Council, said: “We have been given a once in a lifetime chance not only to share our innate talent, creativity and energy with the rest of the world, but also to transform this region forever. This is a new chapter in our journey from plantation to peace, and its legacy will last for generations.”

(Image: the City Walls in Derry)

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