Talks with Minister over EU youth bid

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Education Minister Mr John O’Dowd has gotten involved in discussions about the Council’s plans to make a formal bid to become European Youth Capital 2019.

The Mayor Elisha McCallion said the meeting marked the beginning of a process to engage with and seek support from the various departments of the NI Executive for the city and district’s bid.

She said: “Minister O’Dowd was very supportive of our bid and the work we do to showcase our youthful population and what we have to offer in terms of cultural, social, political and economic life and development. The meeting with Minister O’Dowd last week marked the start of a series of meetings with various Government departments to lobby support as we work towards preparing a concept paper for the first phase of the application process.

“The Minister acknowledged the huge opportunity this accolade would afford us in terms of tourism and international recognition for the city and district, but more importantly, by giving our young people a sense of pride and belonging and help create a happier, healthier youthful community,” she said.

John Kelpie, Chief Executive of Derry City and Strabane District Council, who also attended the meeting, said the bid for European Youth City status remained a key priority for the Council.

He said: “The European Youth Capital 2019 designation would be the ultimate recognition of the important role that our young people play in shaping their future and through their continued engagement as active participants in delivering projects.”