The Executive has pledged £12.6m to boost Derry’s City of Culture programme of events.
Following the announcement, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness told the ‘Journal’ the cash injection will ensure events reflect the great enthusiasm of local people and the city’s arts and cultural organisations for the 2013 celebrations. “The decision of the Executive to commit £12.6 million offers assurances to the Cultural Company that it can organise events with financial confidence and it also gives a boost to major corporate partnerships that this is a joint venture,” he added. Mr McGuinness said that the predicted cost of delivering “a broad suite” of high quality events in 2013 had increased from the original projections made during Derry’s city of culture bid. He explained: “This is in part due to the enthusiasm of local people and the city’s arts and cultural organisations. Many new ideas and events have been submitted to the Culture Company and present an opportunity to help realise Executive objectives to ensure that the North continues to develop as a great place to live and work.”
Culture Company 2013 has committed to publicly launch the highlights of the programme on May 17 with well over 100 different activities and events. Culture Company 2013 Chief Executive, Shona McCarthy, said the funding boost will help her team “unlock the full creative potential” of the city. “There is much hard work to be carried out, but thanks to the commitments given to us by government, we are in a position to maximise the benefits offered to us by our City of Culture year. 2013 promises to be a defining era in the history of this city. It will be a game-changer,” she added.