Derry to be UK’s first City of Culture

Derry has beaten Birmingham, Norwich and Sheffield to become the UK’s first City of Culture – a year-long programme starting in 2013. The scheme will attempt to reveal Derry’s identity, showcase its culture and raise its profile.

Known as Derry to nationalists and Londonderry to Unionists, the city was selected for its cultural events programme. According to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Derry showed ‘strong evidence of engagement across all parties and communities in the city’.

Private investment and regeneration will now be encouraged throughout Derry, which has a promising digital economy, according to Phil Redmond, chairman of the independent advisory panel responsible for the selection.

Redmond says, ‘The programme suggested was impressive, as were the plans for community engagement, economic investment and the development of digital technology.’

Over the course of 2013 the Turner and Stirling prizes will be hosted in Derry, as well as the Bafta and Brit awards and a raft of local initiatives. 

The four shortlisted cities submitted their final bids in May and presented to the independent advisory panel in mid-June. The previous Government devised the scheme in the wake of the success of Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture programme in 2008.

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