Venue ‘a waste of money for Derry’

Independent candidate Paul Hughes pictured at the sign for the Venue, at Ebrington.
Independent candidate Paul Hughes pictured at the sign for the Venue, at Ebrington.

An independent candidate in the forthcoming local elections says he is baffled by the decision taken to spend so much money on the Venue at Ebrington when the money could have been better spent on a detox unit for young people who are desperate for help with their addictions.

Paul Hughes has hit out at the decision to erect the temporary building and says other fit for purpose locations should have been considered, which he argues would have saved money which could have been better spent in the longer term. He says it’s clear from the highlighting of alcohol and drugs issues in recent weeks that money urgently needed is not being freed up, while he claims millions was “wasted” on the Venue, which has now been dismantled.

“The Venue for 2013 ‘City of Culture’ was a total waste of money,” said Mr. Hughes.

“What kind of a city is Derry when we had a tent for our main venue, neglected our young people and the money spent on this tent would have been far better spent on a detox centre which the entire city is calling for.”

The Waterside based candidate continued: “If they are really serious about a venue for the future, what’s wrong with looking at existing options such as the City of Derry Rugby Club which has proven to be one of the most successful venues during city of culture, which was welcoming and fit for purpose and deserves investment and expansion. Lets get real here and provide a ‘real’ venue not the type of pop up that decision makers here are trying to get us accustomed to.”

Mr. Hughes added: “The Ebrington venue scheme represented dismal value and severely undermined the idea of the City of Culture event creating a lasting legacy.

It’s about time those in Council, and those who made the stupid decision now think long and hard about a real future venue for this city and why not start by looking at the City of Derry Rugby Club site which has real potential to produce something substantial and sustainable for holding future iconic events here in the city.”