Input of 10,000 youths will not be in vain

Some of the youth who gathered at the Our Space building in Waterloo Street awaiting the EYC19 result.

Some of the youth who gathered at the Our Space building in Waterloo Street awaiting the EYC19 result.

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Assurances have been given that the input from thousands of young people towards the local bid to become European Youth Capital in 2019 will still be used to help shape future youth provision.

The assurance comes after Derry narrowly lost out to Novi Sad in Serbia in the final of the Europe-wide competition.

There was disappointment across the city and district as the winner was announced live from Varna in Bulgaria on Wednesday night.

For the past 15 months thousands of young people have participated in the EYC19 campaign, taking part in workshops, activities and events to develop and shape the bid.

Mayor Alderman Hilary McClintock speaking from Boston, where she is on a North West Trade Delegation, said: “I want to reassure all our young people that all this work will not be lost. We have heard the voices of our young people and we need to ensure all their needs and priorities are reflected in the Community Plan.

“I will be asking officers to prepare a report for Council outlining how we can build on the momentum of the EYC19 campaign so that we have a clear pathway for future participation of young people in key strategic projects.”

Oonagh McGillion, the Council’s Director of Legacy, added: ‘Despite our disappointment we are very proud to have got this far in the competition. The entire Council area will still benefit from this campaign.

“Our youth have been at the centre of this campaign and without their suggestions, creativity and vitality we would not have reached the final in this competition. We look forward to building on what we have achieved and embedding this amazing programme into the Community Plan.’

Sinn Féin Councillor Elisha McCallion said that while she was disappointed at the result, said: “During preparation for the bid, a lot of effort was invested in direct engagement with young people and the wider population across the community, voluntary, statutory and youth sectors in an effort to identify the real issues affecting young people. Now that they have been identified then let’s address and act on them. We now have an opportunity to harness the vitality and creativity that is available in our young people to ensure that their full potential is delivered on.”

The Council will be revealing details in the coming weeks of a celebration event in January 2017 to acknowledge the efforts and hard work of those involved in the campaign. Details on this will be made available at www.derrystrabane.com.