24/11/2017

Concerns Raised After Joint Bid For European Capital Of Culture Rejected

Serious concerns have been raised after the European Commission (EC) rejected Belfast and L'Derry's joint bid to become the European Capital of Culture in 2023.

The European Commission (EC) wrote to the UK government and stated that after the withdrawal from the European Union (EU) the UK could not take part.

Alliance Councillor Emmer McDonagh Brown described the decision as another "unintended consequence".

He said: "This has gone beyond Civil Servants and we need clear. While we don't know what our relationship with the EU will look like in the wake of Brexit, we need to strengthen our cultural ties now to protect them for the future.

"Of course this will be of little comfort to the many that have put time and effort into our bid, which will still see a strengthening connection between Belfast and Derry-Londonderry as plans for joint culture ventures move forward.

"Despite this the DUP and other pro-Brexit politicians have questions to answer - including how they can still support a Brexit that sees opportunity after opportunity potentially snatched away from Northern Ireland."
News Image
Two SDLP councillors have called for an urgent joint meeting of councillors and officials to address the decision.

Cllr Martin Reilly said: "An immense amount of preparatory work has already gone into the joint bid to bring the European Capital of Culture title to Derry and Belfast.

"In an effort to boost both regions and demonstrate positive cooperation across the North, our councils have been working closely on this collaborative bid. It presented a real opportunity economically, politically and culturally.

"It's critical that both councils now come together to make the case for a special dispensation for this bid. We must remain united."

Cllr Tim Attwood said: "The European Commission decision is extremely disappointing but it should not be the death knell for what would be a significant celebration of our common culture.

"The EU has demonstrated a unique understanding of our circumstances. I firmly believe that our two councils can come together and present a powerful case for a special consideration of our bid.

"This is a time for unity and a time for action. We're calling for an urgent special meeting of both councils to take this forward."

(CD/LM)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

28 January 2005
Minister announces additional £10m to fight waste
Over £10 million has been allocated to Northern Ireland’s 26 district councils with the express aim of combating waste across the province. Minister for the Environment Angela Smith said everyone needed to “Reduce, Re-use and Recycle” in order to tackle the scourge of waste.
24 November 2021
Culture, Arts & Heritage Recovery Taskforce Report Published
The report of the Culture, Arts & Heritage Recovery Taskforce has been published by Communities Minister Deidre Hargey. The Taskforce, established by the Minister in May 2021, has made nine recommendations to support reopening and recovery in the short-term and proposals for the focus of a longer term strategy for culture, the arts and heritage.
08 October 2021
Armagh Shortlisted For UK City Of Culture 2025
Armagh city has been shortlisted as one of the last eight places to be named UK City of Culture 2025. UK Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: "Culture is for everyone, regardless of their background and I'm delighted that the bids from our eight longlisted places will help areas across the UK level up by increasing access to culture.
25 January 2022
Greenway Development Support Announced For Councils
Infrastructure Minister, Nichola Mallon has announced a programme of additional greenway development support for councils. The Minister has previously provided £4 million of capital grant funding in support of Council greenway projects, but was made aware of the need for further assistance in the development of greenway proposals.
23 November 2017
Belfast And L'Derry's Joint Bid For European Capital Of Culture Rejected
Belfast and L'Derry's joint bid to become European Capital of Culture in 2023 has been rejected over Brexit. The European Commission (EC) wrote to the UK government and stated that after the withdrawal from the European Union (EU) the UK could not take part.