£80K. bill is anticipated for Council’s global Clipper trips

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Derry City Council is planning to fork out in the region of £80,000 to bankroll trips to various destinations in this year’s Clipper Round the World yacht race.

Mayor Martin Reilly travelled to Singapore this week to join members of the Derry Clipper crew as they complete Race 8 of the global competition.

The Mayor is part of a delegation from Derry City Council aiming to boost the city’s profile in the countdown to Clipper arriving in Derry this summer.

This drive will involve planned trips to a number of Clipper venues around the world over the next five months.

These include Qingdao (China) in March, San Francisco (April), New York (June), Holland (July) and London (July).

The anticipated total cost of these trips is £79,000.

Councillor Reilly is accompanied on the Singapore trip by Mayoress Bronagh Reilly - who, Council says, is covering her own costs - Strategic Director Stephen Gillespie and Council official Aeidin McCarter.

As part of the trip to Singapore, the Council delegates are to link in with a “UK/Ireland trade mission” and “forge business and cultural links and promote the city for a stopover and homecoming festival in June.”

A Council spokesperson added: “The trip has been organised in close partnership with Invest NI and the Department of Finance and Enterprise who are using the city’s participation in the Clipper Race as an opportunity to market the city and region and build on the legacy of our year as City of Culture in 2013.

“The visit will also help the city establish long term economic links which will, ultimately, bring investment as well as increase the profile of the city and region.”

Meanwhile, the North’s Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster says Derry will once again be in the media spotlight when the Clipper race returns to the city later this year.