CULTURE Company boss Shona McCarthy says Londonderry has got the year of culture “right - extraordinarily right.”
Speaking ahead of an address to the Hull and East Yorkshire Bondholders’ breakfast today (Thursday, September 5) - the North Eastern English city is in the running for UK City of Culture 2017 - she said the potential is enormous.
She said: “From Derry’s experience, I can tell you that the potential for Hull is for it to be truly transformational.
“It’s an opportunity to put Hull on the map as a place of cultural vibrancy and to completely galvanise its citizens, across all of the sectors of the community, behind one vision.”
She added: “Externally, we have received really positive coverage in the national media which had become so accustomed to telling the same old story about Derry – a story of a troubled city with a history of political strife.
“They have come here and seen not just that we have got the year of culture right, we have got it extraordinarily right.”
Ms McCarthy will also tell Hull’s business leaders winning the title boosts both civi pride and the local economy.
She said: “Internally, people are now seriously walking tall. We are getting emails and messages from people who are saying they have never been so proud of their city. That is a step change in how people see their own place.
“The confidence, hope and aspiration that has come from being the UK’s first ever City of Culture is really powerful.”
She also claimed the huge investment in Londonderry as a result of UK City of Culture 2013 - the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) allocated £12m - has been returned five fold.
Five pounds has been spent for every £1 invested.
If that applies to the entire £12m allocated by DCAL, £60m will have to have been spent over the year above and beyond, what would be spent in a normal year, to make this stack up.
Councillor Steve Bayes, Hull City Council, responsible for Hull’s City of Culture bid, said: “The potential that being the UK City of Culture brings is enormous.
“Being one of the final four candidate cities for 2017 has already brought benefits to Hull, including an increased media profile and the harnessing of city’s creative talent behind the bid.
“This event will provide insights into the opportunities that being the next City of Culture will bring for the city and its businesses.”