Delargy asks Executive Office to review number of Ebrington events to maximise potential

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Foyle MLA Pádraig Delargy has asked the Executive Office if it will help review the number of events at Ebrington to maximise its tourism and economic potential.

He raised the former military barracks with the Deputy First Minister Emma Little-Pengelly in the Stormont Assembly this week.

Mr. Delargy asked Ms. Little-Pengelly ‘what the Executive plan to do at meet the demand of the people of Derry for more events there and to maximise the potential of that site’.

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She replied: “We have worked very closely with the site and have made a significant multi-million-pound investment in it. There is lots of exciting opportunity and some exciting events have already taken place.

Ebrington Square.Ebrington Square.
Ebrington Square.

“The Member is absolutely right. The overall strategic direction for Ebrington was to transfer that to the local council and for the council to bring forward the events and entertainment scheduled for the site.

“There have been some difficulties in the last number of years with this, but we want the site to be an economic driver, albeit working with those who have invested and are on the site.”

The Deputy First Minister said the ultimate aims is to transfer the site to the local council but she said the Executive Office are ‘happy to work with local stakeholders and the council to see what we can do in the meantime to maximise its potential’.

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Mr. Delargy asked the minister what she will do to help ‘review the number of events that are in Ebrington and maximise that to drive tourism and the economy in the north-west’.

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She responded: “The Member will be aware that this is subject to contractual arrangements with those who are now currently resident on the site and have businesses on it. Officials have been working constructively.

"I understand that there is now going to be an entertainments programme over the course of the summer and the next financial year, and I welcome that.

“I understand, however, that it is a restricted programme, due to those discussions. I understand that the relationships are working well and that constructive conversations are happening.

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“Getting the local council, as the body that will eventually take ownership of it, involved in that may well help to develop that local culture and music programme for the entire community.”

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