New 'Factory girls' sculpture set to be put out to tender

Supporters of a 'factory girls' sculpture pictured outside the Guildhall in 2016.
Supporters of a 'factory girls' sculpture pictured outside the Guildhall in 2016.

Derry City & Strabane District Council looks set to abandon plans to install artist Louise Walsh's 'factory girls' sculpture in Harbour Square and instead launch a fresh £90,000 tender for a new tribute councillors hope will be in place by this time next year.

Members of DC&SDC's Business & Culture Committee unanimously backed the move after the Council's Director of Business and Culture, Stephen Gillespie, said the artist had estimated completing the existing art work and placing it outside the Guildhall, or at any other location, would cost an additional £244,000.

This, in addition to the £85,000 cost of the work to date, would bring the total cost of the project to close to £330,000, which Mr. Gillespie said, and councillors agreed, would be "unjustifiable" on value for money grounds.

Members expressed disappointment and frustration that after 12 years Derry's factory girls were still waiting for a fitting tribute.

They agreed that officers now proceed with a new £90,000 tender and examine whether this can be time bound so that the sculpture is in place by this time next year.

More on this story in Friday's 'Journal'.