Derry & Strabane Council is expected to formally submit its bid to become European Youth Capital for 2019 by February 28.
Derry City & Strabane District Council’s post-2013 Director of Legacy, Oonagh McGillion, told members of the Governance & Strategic Planning Committee this week that the outline bidding process was near at hand.
Seeking the Committee’s approval to submit the European Youth Capital 2019 Concept Paper, Ms McGillion said the shortlist of bids will be completed by the end of April and the successful bidders will then be invited to submit a detailed bid laying out a week-by-week programme of events. The winning bid will be announced by the end of November.
It was agreed last summer that the local council would take on other cities and regions across Europe, with young people to be placed at the heart of the process.
The Committee was told that to date the European Youth Capital Officers have engaged directly with around 750 youths within the Derry City and Strabane District Council area and beyond.
Every school in the city and district has now been contacted regarding the bid along with training providers, colleges, the University and local employers.
In addition, consultations have been completed with youth workers, multiple youth organisations, and professionals within the youth sector.
She said engagement through social media was progressing, and added that the language used around the bid was critical because a lot of technical sounding jargon only served to alienate young people.
She said key issues raised by young people included lack of jobs, alcohol and drugs, suicide and the need for a dedicated provision of youth facilities. Independent Colr. Darren O’Reilly advocated a presentation by local young people who have visited such initiatives in Manchester.