Initial fear of ‘damp squib’ Culture year

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, Ed Vaizey pictured with the Mayor, Councillor Martin Reilly and Culture Company Chief Executive Shona McCarthy and members of the Derry~Londonderry creative community following a meeting in the City Hotel. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 21.11.13
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, Ed Vaizey pictured with the Mayor, Councillor Martin Reilly and Culture Company Chief Executive Shona McCarthy and members of the Derry~Londonderry creative community following a meeting in the City Hotel. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 21.11.13

There were initial fears that Derry’s 2013 celebration could turn out to be a “damp squib”, Britain’s Culture Minister Ed Vaisey has admitted.

On a visit to the city yesterday, Mr Vaisey told the ‘Journal’ that as the pioneer UK City of Culture, the future of the designation hung on success in Derry.

“Unlike Hull which now has three years to prepare, Derry~Londonderry only had a year and a half, so it could have been a complete failure or damp squib. That hasn’t happened and what City of Culture has done is put the city on the map.

“Now it is thought of as a tourist destination and a cultural city - so externally it has been a success. Internally, I get the impression that the community has come together. People can’t stop talking about the highlights, how it’s given the city a huge buzz, given it a lot of self-confidence and brought the community together,” he said.