CULTURE Minister Carál Ní Chuilín says she is committed to securing events like the Tattoo and Fleadh in future whilst reiterating her long-stated goal of making Londonderry a more equal and prosperous place after 2013.
DUP MLA Gregory Campbell asked the Minister what consideration was being given to hosting large scale events from 2014. Ms Ní Chuilín replied: “As we approach the end of the year and the cultural programme of events, the focus for the City of Culture is focusing on promoting equality and longer term benefits, particularly those sectors and areas facing greatest objective need.”
She reiterated her long held view that wages must rise, jobs must be created, the city must be more equal, there must be better relations between Protestants and Catholics and people must be happier otherwise City of Culture 2013 will have failed.
She stated: “Targets to increase jobs, investment and wages and to improve perceptions, quality of life and opportunities have been developed to address specific need in the City up to 2020. As part of the focus on legacy, we are working with project partners to consider which aspects of the programme were successful and may return to the city in the future.”
But she expressed a commitment that the Tattoo and Fleadh would be back: “I am committed to ensuring that major events such as the Tattoo and Fleadh return to the North of Ireland in the future. My Department will play a leading role in the delivery of City of Culture legacy. We have demonstrated that we can host major international events in the North which will allow us to bid with confidence for future events.”
In 2012 the Minister spelled out what UK City of Culture 2013 needed to achieve, explaining: “Targets are concerned with increasing wages and profits in the City; increasing employment, particularly in those from the bottom half of the most deprived wards; improving community relations, perceptions of the City and equality and social cohesion; increasing visitors to the City and visitor spend; increasing the number of people who attend cultural events, particularly those living in the most deprived areas; increasing satisfaction with living in the City and raising the City’s Urban Benchmark Rank. Measurement of progress during 2013 will be undertaken by the NISRA”