THE year that could transform Londonderry and leave a lasting legacy for future generations got off to a fantastic start - but even better has yet to come.
While the New Year’s Eve celebrations heralding the beginning of the city’s year as the first ever UK City of Culture were the most spectacular ever seen in Londonderry, even more amazing events lie ahead in 2013, says the company behind the programme.
Martin Bradley, Chairperson of Culture Company promised: “The way that Derry-Londonderry has come together as a team to ensure that the full potential of 2013 is realised has been truly remarkable and will ensure the maximum possible benefits for all the people of the city.”
“As the first winners of this prestigious title, we have been pioneers, working without a blueprint and setting benchmarks for future UK Cities of Culture.”
“Our team have put together a schedule of cultural excellence that will shine a spotlight on our city and display our cultural vibrancy to the world throughout 2013 and beyond.”
His words were warmly welcomed by Foyle MLA, William Hay, who said all communities must ‘take ownership’ of the city’s title as Cultural Capital of the UK.
He said: “This year is an opportunity for all communities to leave a lasting legacy. Already there are a number of projects from within the Unionist community and there are more to come.
“The Culture Company has done everything it can to make this year a success and is listening to all communities and it is very important that the unionist community plays a full part. A lot of great work is being done, including by Waterside Area Partnership and I have been greatly encouraged by the scale and number of projects.
“I also hope local businesses can take full advantage of the economic off-spins as our economy gets a massive boost from events and an influx of visitors.
“This can be a win-win opportunity for everyone.”