Factory Girls sculpture & Harbour Square redevelopment by 2023

Derry’s long awaited Factory Girls sculpture is expected to be completed by March 2023 as part of a new Harbour Square Redevelopment project.

Thursday, 13th May 2021, 8:31 am

Members of Derry & Strabane Council’s Business and Culture Committee approved the appointment of an Integrated Consultancy Team (ICT) for the redevelopment project, which will cost £1.4m.

Committee Chair SDLP Councillor Rory Farrell said the new development was “really fantastic”.

“We have the wider Harbour Square redevelopment and at the heart of it we’ve got the public artwork which is commemorating the legacy of the shirt factory workers in this city and we owe it to the factory girls to get this right. They have been disappointed in the past so this is really positive news.”

Former Derry factory girls pictured at the 2019 launch of the UV Arts Factory Girls Murals in the Craft Village. DER3419GS 033

The Harbour Square Redevelopment project will see the creation of a new public space that links the historical Walled Town to a new, lively riverfront zone. 

Aeidin McCarter, Head of Culture with Derry & Strabane Council said that Council’s contribution for the initial phase is 10% which is £17,000.

“We are expecting the company (ICT) to be appointed within a matter of weeks,” she said.

Stephen Gillespie, Director for Business and Culture with Derry City and Strabane District Council added: “In terms of time scale so we’re clear, the end of stage 1 is at the end of the financial year, so the aim is planning permission would be submitted by the end of March 2022 and then that takes us into phase two when we would bid for further capital money to complete the project for the financial year 22/23.”

Sinn Fein Councillor Patricia Logue described it as ‘another good news story for this Council and district’.  “£1.4m is quite a lot of money so I would like to thank the Department for Communities for once again stepping up to the mark. We are on another step up the ladder of seeing this project to fruition.”

Responding to Colr Logue’s query if there has ‘been any engagement or is there any planned engagement with the factory girls?’ Mr Gillespie said: “I have spoken to the main spokesperson for the factory girls and we have kept in contact with them and we will continue to keep that contact going as we move through this process, especially once the artist or artists are appointed.”

Aontú Colr. Emmet Doyle said: “This is another really positive story and great to see,” before the recommendation to appoint the ICT team was passed unanimously.

Once appointed the ICT will oversee the selection of an artist for the Factory Girls artwork as well as the design and delivery of the project.