‘CoC cash should’ve been city focused’

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SDLP MLA Gerard Diver says it’s great the new Dungiven sports centre is going ahead but he wishes it wasn’t funded out of the City of Culture legacy pot.

Mr Diver said: “I am delighted Dungiven is to get a new sports centre and while it is a project worth proper funding, I believe that City of Culture legacy funds would be best spent in Derry City. We are fighting a legacy of historic under-investment in this city and funds earmarked for projects here should not be syphoned to areas over an hour away.

“That the Minister confirmed City of Culture legacy funds of £1.6 million will be spent in Coleraine, £2.2 million in Dungiven and further applications are pending for projects in Ballymoney, was surprising.

“These are certainly areas that merit investment but I must ask questions of the Department when City of Culture Legacy money is being spent on projects not even in County Derry. I have asked the Minister to outline just who can apply to the Legacy fund and await her response.

“Applications and awards to other areas in need should not come at the detriment of those groups who organised and ran what such a successful year in Derry.”