Londonderry is celebrating being chosen as the UK’s first City of Culture.
The announcement was made last night in Liverpool, the city that gathered so much success from its tenure as European Capital of Culture in 2008.
Londonderry, short-listed alongside Birmingham, Sheffield and Norwich, will take the mantle in 2013. Large events such as the Brit Awards and the Turner Prize could come to the city as a result of the award, although there is no direct Government grant involved.
Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said he was “over the moon” with the result. “Now that the green light has been shown, the real work begins. The benefits will last for five to 10 years,” he commented.
The city’s mayor, Colum Eastwood added the award would bring lasting benefits for Londonderry. “This will bring the jobs, the investment, the regeneration that we need.”
UK culture minister Ed Vaizey said the judging panel had unanimously chosen Londonderry because of its “compelling cultural programme, the way it seeks to address the city’s past, and the enthusiasm and commitment of the city and its supporters”.