Culture Company move ‘a slap in teeth’

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A decision to wind up the Culture Company earlier than expected is “a kick in the teeth”, says the body’s chief executive Shona McCarthy.

Ms McCarthy made the comment in light of the resignation of three members of the Culture Company’s board this month.

Former BBC Radio Foyle boss Ana Leddy stepped down on Friday in “challenge” to plans to wind up the Company in March rather than June 2013. Claire McColgan also stepped down last week with Anna Cutler leaving the board earlier this month. Another board member, Declan Gonagle resigned at an earlier stage.

Ms McCarthy said the team remains “committed” despite the move by Derry City Council.

However she said she has “concern” that the move may impact on the legacy of the City of Culture. “She said it would be “very difficult” for the team at the heart of delivering the 2013 programme to contribute to the legacy planning as the council’s move was “something of a slap in the teeth”.

In response, Derry City Council Chief Executive Sharon O’Connor said many partners “across the public, private and community sectors” were responsible for the City of Culture legacy, adding that a legacy plan is currently in draft form. She added: “The successes of 2013 were achieved through the major contributions and support from a wide range of partners, including the public, private, community and voluntary sectors. Building legacy is the job of everyone involved in City of Culture project so far.”

In terms of jobs, the decision affects eleven core staff who were to oversee the winding up process until June.