SDLP Foyle MLA, Colum Eastwood, has spoken of his confidence that the City of Culture will be fully and deeply embraced by the people of Derry.
Mr Eastwood, who was Mayor of the City in 2010 and part of the winning bid team said that he hoped that 2013 and its rippling legacy would encourage both economic expansion and cultural revitalisation.
The Foyle MLA commented: “It seems like time has flown since the winning of the bid and subsequent endless endeavours to formulate the many events which will be lavishly scattered throughout 2013’.
“I am confident that a great swell of Derry people will embrace this year and make it their own.
“2013 is, in essence, an unprecedented amphitheatre through which Derry can translate to a huge audience its charm and charisma.
“It will be a time when the city can thoughtfully explore its undeniable darkness and energetically exude its undimmed light.
‘I am unceasingly optimistic that, by the end of this calendar year, this city can imagine itself anew and that we can enter into the future buoyed by a renewed confidence in ourselves and in our city.”