Culture Minister announces 2013 legacy plans

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A limited company is to be set up to deliver post 2013 projects as part of a three year plan to build on Derry’s City of Culture year.

Derry is also to get a mobile marquee that will host cultural events while a Department of Culture Arts and Leisure Office will also be set up in the north west, Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín revealed in Derry today.

“We have learnt a lot from the hugely successful year of City of Culture. As we move forward into 2014, I want to widen the focus out from Derry to Strabane, Limavady and Coleraine including co-operation with Donegal. With the new councils being established in 2015, it makes sense that all of the North West region benefits.

“I will therefore set up a company limited by guarantee to deliver City of Culture legacy programmes and activities. I will also set up a DCAL North West office to help the new body become established,” she said.

Outlining the start-up package which will be available to get legacy projects up and running, the Minister said: “I have approved over £2million for projects in this current financial year and I will make a bid through the Executive for funding to continue the department’s support in the next financial year.

“I will support the continuation of the Music Promise and Portrait of a City. I will fund Neighbourhood Renewal Areas to support the delivery of cultural strategies. I also want a feasibility study to be undertaken to consider venues for cultural hubs across the region.

“I have approved funding for the purchase of a Mobile Marquee which will enable deprived communities to host events such as the hugely popular tea dances. The new delivery company will also support and develop new initiatives.”

Looking forward to one of the highlights of the City of Culture Year, which is coming back, the Minister said: “Other Voices will return to Derry in February promising an even stronger programme than last year and I have approved the purchase of Eamonn O’Doherty’s iconic Armoured Pram which will become a catalyst to inspire creativity.”

Congratulating Hull on being appointed City of Culture 2017, the Minister said: “Derry’s year as City of Culture has been a phenomenal success. And I have no doubt that you too will make the most of this tremendous opportunity.

“Here in Derry, 2013 has brought many highlights, interest in the city has reached a global audience and tourism and business have done very well throughout the year.

“I have mapped out the way forward beyond 2013, where the focus will not be so much on the big ticket events but on local communities learning from this year and flourishing through culture. Derry is a city transformed; a community inspired and confident and a region embracing the creative industries and wider social innovation, taking its lead from the city.”