Derry gets £10million for culture year - and almost 100 civil service jobs

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Derry has been given a £10million funding boost for its year as City of Culture.

Stormont’s Social Development minister Alex Attwood made the announcement in the city this morning.

He says the funding will go towards culture venues and services, retail areas and an indoor venue which will compete for prestigious events such as the BRIT Awards and Sports Personality of the Year.

“I want communities to benefit as much as possible from the City Of Culture year,” he says.

“Already we have in train some exciting projects earmarked for the £10million. Ilex will shortly commence a process to procure a demountable pavilion, which will accommodate 8,000 people. This would be a plum venue for competing for the likes of the BRIT Awards and Sports Personality of the Year.

“Up to £1million of funding will also be provided to enhance a number of retail areas on both the Cityside and Waterside.”

Derry’s mayor Colum Eastwood says the investment recognises the potential of the City of Culture and creates immediate delivery opportunities.

Meanwhile Minister Attwood, has also announced a major jobs boost for the city.

Ninety-five Social Security Agency jobs will be relocated from Belfast to offices based at Carlisle House in Derry.

The process of relocating the posts, which deal with the state pension, will be completed by Spring 2012.

Making the announcement, the Minister said: “This is good news for Derry. Around 95 posts currently based in Belfast will be relocated, to sit alongside 300 staff administering pension credit in Derry.”

“This will allow for closer working between these two services leading, in the future, to the delivery of a single pension service in Northern Ireland.”

Mr Attwood confirmed that there will be no redundancies associated with this relocation and staff that do not move to Derry will be redeployed within the Social Security Agency, the Department for Social Development or the wider Civil Service.

Full details in Friday’s Journal