Frampton is the latest cultural heavyweight to back Derry bid

editorial image

Derry’s joint bid with Belfast to become European Capital of Culture in 2023 has received another celebrity endorsement after former world champion boxer Carl Frampton leant his support to the campaign.

Mr. Frampton is the latest major figure to confirm their support for Belfast City Council’s and Derry City and Strabane District Council’s combined WeAre2023 bid.

The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh said: “We are very fortunate to have a huge diaspora right across the globe.

“Our people and our culture have had an incredibly positive impact on the world stage, especially given our relatively small geographical size.”

He quipped: “As Carl Frampton says, we really do punch above our weight in cultural terms.”

‘The Jackal’ joins other high profile cultural champions including Liam Neeson, Geraldine Hughes, Bronagh Waugh, the NI football team, Belfast Giants, Ulster Rugby team, John Duddy, Brendan Coyle, Duke Special, Glenn Patterson, Ian McElhinney, Oliver Jeffers, Colin Davidson, Ricky Warwick, Roma Downey, SOAK, Eamonn Holmes, Roy Walker, Ryan Vail, Jake Burns, Kenneth Branagh, Martin Lynch, Terri Hooley, Terry George, Tim Wheeler and Rachel Tucker.

All of the champions’ pledges of support have been filmed and are now available to view at They’re now asking you to back the bid with just one click.

Belfast Lord Mayor Councillor Nuala McAllister said: “We are delighted that our cultural leading lights are backing the bid – and doing it so enthusiastically.

“Together, we can bring the bid home, so tell your friends, tell your family, tell your neighbours to visit the WeAre2023 website and back the bid!”

The European Capital of Culture (ECoC) is an annual designation awarded by the European Commission to nations inside and outside of the EU. Since it launched in 1985, 56 cities have hosted the title including two in the UK – Glasgow in 1990 and Liverpool in 2008. Dublin held the title in 1991, Cork in 2005 and Galway will be Capital of Culture in 2020.

By bidding together, Derry and Belfast hope to cement the roles of both cities as regional economic and social drivers. It will also create an opportunity to support people to connect with each other and to celebrate our cities across Europe and the world.

To pledge your support for the bid, go to