‘Public art must be properly maintained’

SDLP Colr. Rory Farrell.
SDLP Colr. Rory Farrell.

SDLP Councillor Rory Farrell has said that local public artworks must be properly maintained “to enhance our tourism offering”.

Speaking after last week’s meeting of the Business & Culture Committee, where councillors were informed of the costs of managing such artworks, Colr. Farrell said: “We have an extensive collection of public art but we do not have a dedicated budget for their upkeep.

“Council officers have established that bringing this portfolio to the required standard will cost over £250,000 with recurring annual maintenance costs of nearly £80,000.

“Council did not commission many of these artworks but has maintained them on an ad hoc basis in the absence of alternative arrangements.”

The Council is to write to government departments to contribute. Colr. Farrell said such artworks were vital for the tourism and should be maintained. “And it is equally important to source government funding to reduce the burden on local ratepayers.”