SF MLA says quayside must be able to host major events

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A Derry MLA says it’s crucial Derry’s quayside is able to host managed market trading events during the City of Culture celebrations.

Sinn Fein’s Maeve McLaughlin says the riverfront district needs to receive the designation required to allow it to stage events such as the popular continental market.

She says the city’s waterfront needs a “special focus” as part of wider regeneration plans taking place in Derry.

“The ten day Clipper Festival, in many ways, brought that entire area to life,” she said.

“The Clipper Festival exceeded all our expectations. Thousands of people of all ages thronged the quayside walkway from Bay Road right up to the Peace Bridge.

“For years, the people of Derry have been crying out to see the riverfront location fully utilised. After years of planning, hard work and waiting, that time has come.”

She says locating the continental market along the riverfront during the Clipper Festival was a success.

“It added to the whole experience of the festival and brought a family friendly feel good factor to the occasion,” she said.

“It’s vital, ahead of Derry being City of Culture 2013, that the riverfront area is designated to allow it to be used as a venue to host future continental markets and similar type events.

“Any issues around licensing, safety and design should be resolved with DRD Road Service as quickly as possible.”

In response, a DRD Roads Service spokeswoman said: “The location of the continental market was a pilot location only and is due to be reviewed with partners and event organisers.”