CULTURE Minister Carál Ní Chuilín says the Brandywell will be considered in legacy planning for City of Culture 2013. That’s despite Derry City Council’s ‘Draft Legacy Plan’ - parts of which were published by the Sentinel last week - making no specific mention of the ground.
She was asked by Raymond McCartney if the ‘legacy plan’ would be brought forward this year. Separately, he asked if Derry City FC would be included in the £36m IFA subregional stadium development plan. She said: “We were very successful in securing an additional £2 million, as part of the monitoring round, for the City of Culture’s legacy fund. That is important, particularly when you are looking at the legacy, and there has been much in the media about the legacy. However, our focus - the entire Executive, through DCAL - has always been on addressing opportunities, and there is no better opportunity than tackling poverty and social exclusion. I am happy that that will happen. The other facilities — the Brandywell, the showgrounds and the rest as part of that legacy — will be included in that. We are working with the council on the production of a robust legacy plan, and we will bring our own in addition to that.”
The Minister also referred to a £5m tranche of funding that will go towards the Foyle valley master plan.
That’s a far reaching scheme that in draft form included a futuristic new footbridge from Prehen to the Brandywell; and the reshaping of the ever unpopular Lecky Road Fly-over and an innovative transformation of the peaceline at Bishop Street into a ‘working wall.’
Ms Ní Chuilín said: “With not just the £2 million from DCAL but the £3 million from Derry City Council, a quare dent - as we say in Belfast - will certainly be put into the Foyle valley master plan and help to address one of the legacy projects that has been flagged up in the city.
“It is really important to use opportunities through sport and physical activity, through the arts, through community development, through health, and through social development and the rest to make sure that we leave a good footprint.
“I believe that the Foyle valley project is one of those. I look forward to seeing how it rolls out.”