No more money for Derry’s City of Culture legacy

Minister Car�l N� Chuil�n.
Minister Car�l N� Chuil�n.

Funding for the UK City of Culture legacy will stop at the end of this month, Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has admitted.

And plans for a new company to look after the City of Culture legacy complete with Derry based office have now been scrapped.

Responding to an Assembly question from SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood, the Minister admitted she has ‘no baseline budget to continue provision of additional funding in the North West after 31 March, 2015’.

SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood said the Minister has failed to deliver on promises of a lasting legacy for Derry’s City of Culture, SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood has said.

Mr Eastwood also criticised the minister for failing to deliver what she promised during an announcement in Derry in November 2013.

“We expressed our doubts about the minister’s commitment to Derry’s City of Culture legacy at the time. In a glitzy announcement on the legacy she set out her ‘strategic direction’ which centred around the creation of a dedicated company to deliver cultural-based projects in Derry. That company has not been set up and now we’re being told it won’t be set up. After a series of questions were put to the minister and many months down the line she has finally admitted there will be no delivery by her department on this issue.

“In admitting there is no budget for legacy beyond this month, she seems to be saying that as far as her department is concerned Derry’s City of Culture legacy is dead.

“As mayor I was heavily involved in the bid for City of Culture designation for Derry and the most important aspect of that was always legacy. Legacy was key to the entire process. Sadly the minister has not grasped the importance of that legacy for Derry as she has clearly not made it a priority in her budget,” Mr Eastwood said.

He added: “The people of Derry are fed up with glitzy announcements of investment with no delivery to back them up.”