The Venue to be dismantled in New Year

Funk legend Nile Rodgers on stage at The Venue earlier this year.
Funk legend Nile Rodgers on stage at The Venue earlier this year.

The Venue - Derry’s temporary City of Culture concert hall at Ebrington Square - is to be dismantled in the New Year.

The move, announced today by the Department of Social Development, follows a lack of private sector interest in its retention.

Earlier this month, DSD minister Nelson McCausland revealed it takes around £6,000 per month to run The Venue - which has been the setting for some of the major events of the City of Culture year.

Derry MP Mark Durkan says today’s announcement is “regrettable”.

Mr Durkan said: “I regret that private sector interest in using or taking on The Venue has not been forthcoming.

“The Venue has been a huge asset to Derry during the City of Culture year.

“People have seen the real difference it has made and the range of events it has been able to accommodate and attract.

“It would seem - at this particularly difficult economic time - that the numbers and prospective revenue for such private sector players have not stacked up.

“However, I am one of those who firmly believes that Derry needs a venue of such scale and capacity as a permanent fixture in the city.”

The Venue has hosted several major events in 2013 including the Ulster boxing championship finals, the Sons and Daughters concert, One Big Weekend, Buena Vista Social Club, Elvis Costello, Chic, CultureTech, Status Quo and Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann.