Derry's Culture Company shuts up shop

Published Monday, 31 March 2014
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The organisation that helped deliver Derry~Londonderry's City of Culture year has been wound up.

Derry's Culture Company shuts up shop
Lumiere helped close Derry-Londonderry''s City Of Culture celebrations. (© City of Culture)

The Culture Company shut up shop on Monday three months ahead of its planned closure. After a year to remember in the city, those behind the City of Culture told UTV that the energy and drive that made it happen can not be allowed to simply fizzle out.

Events of local, national and even global significance were held throughout 2013 such as the prestigious Turner Prize Exhibition.

One of the biggest arts events in the world, the exhibition was staged at the old Ebrington army barracks. It was the first time the event had been held outside of England since its creation almost 30 years ago.

We did something quite transformative. The bench mark was set really high and no one will ever look at this city in quite the same way again.

Shona McCarthy, Culture Company director

Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann alone attracted more than 400,000 in one week as crowds flocked to the song, music and dance extravaganza. It was a event of firsts - it was the first time it was held in Northern Ireland and it was opened by President Michael D Higgins, marking the first time an Irish head of state attended the event.

Sections of the hospitality industry reaped the dividends with cafes, restaurants and hotels welcoming a much needed boost in trade.

Culture showed it could pay its way and the Culture Company director hopes that the people of Derry will continue to build on 2013's success for many years to come.

Shona McCarthy told UTV: "Legacy is not an abstract concept. It's about people, so I want to see the city investing in its people.

"I want to see the city investing in the incredible cultural wealth that is here. It won't just stay.

"It doesn't just happen by magic - it happens because there are brilliant people in the sector who are delivering day and daily and that needs further investment."

Ms McCarthy continued: "This was the most peaceful year that this city has had in many, many years. I think there's a story to be told in that. "That something changed here, something happened here, that maybe the lessons should be looked at and learned across the rest of Northern Ireland as well."

© UTV News
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