Minister failed to deliver on City of Culture legacy promises
Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has failed to deliver on promises of a lasting legacy for Derry's City of Culture, SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood has said.
Mr Eastwood made the comment after it emerged that no money is available to deliver City of Culture legacy projects from the end of this month.
Responding to an Assembly question from Mr Eastwood, the minister admitted she has 'no baseline budget to continue provision of additional funding in the North West after 31 March, 2015'.
She further revealed that her pledge to establish a company to deliver legacy projects in the city will not now be fulfilled due to a failure to secure funding 'through the in-year monitoring round process'.Mr Eastwood has criticised the minister for failing to deliver what she promised during an announcement in Derry in November 2013.
“We expressed our doubts about the minister's commitment to Derry's City of Culture legacy at the time. In a glitzy announcement on the legacy she set out her 'strategic direction' which centred around the creation of a dedicated company to deliver cultural-based projects in Derry. That company has not been set up and now we’re being told it won't be set up. After a series of questions were put to the minister and many months down the line she has finally admitted there will be no delivery by her department on this issue.
“In admitting there is no budget for legacy beyond this month, she seems to be saying that as far as her department is concerned Derry's City of Culture legacy is dead.
“As mayor I was heavily involved in the bid for City of Culture designation for Derry and the most important aspect of that was always legacy. Legacy was key to the entire process. Sadly the minister has not grasped the importance of that legacy for Derry as she has clearly not made it a priority in her budget,” Mr Eastwood said.
He added: “The people of Derry are fed up with glitzy announcements of investment with no delivery to back them up.”