Council to look at relocating Derry's Big Screen

Derry's Big Screen could be moved to a new location as part of a move to create a fanzone for live screening of future sporting and other events.

Wednesday, 15th June 2016, 12:52 pm
Updated Wednesday, 15th June 2016, 2:57 pm
Watching the fastest paralympian in the world, Jason Smyth, take gold and break his own world record in the 100m, on the big screen in Derry back in 2012. Picture Margaret McLaughlin ©

The move came to light as the Council announced that it will now not proceed with the offer to become part of the FanZone Network for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

This was because the company which had proposed organising the local participation, B-focused Ltd, have now come back and said they would not be in a position to do so.

The report states: “B-focused ltd have now replied to say that they are now not able to host the Team GB Fanzone for a number of factors: (a) Due to the existing commercial content being played out on the screen (b) They cannot commit to the Council’s request for the screen to be commercially clean.”

The committee was also told that the additional costs regarding promotion and security would have

made this proposal “prohibitive” to the Council, in any event.

The Olympic Games will be staged from August 5 to 21 this year.

Former Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín officially launching the Derry Live ‘Big Screen’ at its current Waterloo Place site back in 2011, in time for both the 2012 London Olympics and the Derry City of Culture 2013 celebrations.

SDLP Councillor John Boyle raised the matter of the relocation at the meeting, after Sinn Fein COuncillor Elisha McCallion proposed getting Euro 16 matches screened on the Big Screen.

Speaking about the lack of use of the faiclity, he said: “There is an opportunity there. We are missing a trick.

“I seem to recall some time back there was a discussion about moving that screen and putting it somewhere else. Did I dream that? If it doesn’t work at Waterloo Place, we should be looking at that.”

The Council’s Director of Business and Culture Stephen Gillespie said the Council had looked at other sites, including a previous proposal to move it to the Peace Garden.

“The reality is it probably isn’t in the right place; for something family friendly we probably need to be looking at other locations.”

He said that whether this would be to Ebrington or another location would have to be looked at in the future.

SDLP Councillor Brian Tierney agreed that the relocation was a good idea, stating: “It probably isn’t in the right place in terms of a longer term solution, but it is better being used where it is than not being used at all.”