QUESTIONS have been asked why no “sporting, cultural or artistic” events will be held outside Londonderry for the UK City of Culture 2013 programme, despite the Culture Company meeting with local authorities from places such as Limavady.
Sinn Féin MLA for East Londonderry Cathal Ó hOisín raised the issue at Stormont, where he asked Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín “why no sporting, cultural or artistic events will be held outside the Derry City Council area and no such events will be included in the Programme of Events, given that the Culture Company, and others, consulted with local authorities across the North West on the benefits for the region.”
Ms Ní Chuilín, his party colleague, stated in her reply that councils such as Limavady should “evelop their own projects and encourage local arts organisations, accommodation providers and so on to maximise the opportunities presented by the City of Culture year.”
She said: “The Culture Company 2013 Ltd have developed a Cultural Programme of activities and events which are designed to achieve specific benefits in 2013 and contribute to a legacy for the City and region.
“Target outcomes have been set to 2020 including increase in number of jobs, skills building, changing perceptions of the City, increasing attendance at cultural events and attracting more visitors.
“While, Cultural Programme events will be concentrated in Derry, opportunities to develop complementary events and derive economic benefits have been discussed with neighbouring Councils.
“For example Culture Company is engaged with a community project in Bready, with Strabane Ethnic Community, a number of events in a cross-border partnership with Donegal and an event called “On Home Ground” which will take place in South Derry and will be featured in the Cultural Programme.
“Culture Company has also been working with the Rural Development Fund which has a consortium of representatives from Limavady, Omagh, Strabane and Derry Council areas.
Councils should develop their own projects and encourage local arts organisations, accommodation providers and so on to maximise the opportunities presented by the City of Culture year.
“Opportunities to avail of funding include schemes run by the Culture Company, for example the Music Promise Small Grants awards for music projects based in and around the Derry area: http://www.cityofculture2013.com/Get-Involved/be-part-of-it/Music-Promise-Small-Grants--(MPSG)-Award.aspx
“NITB and Big Lottery Fund, in partnership with Arts Council also offer small grants which target projects whose objectives complement the City of Culture plans and outcomes. Further information can be found on their websites.”