Extra £12.6m funding for Derry's City of Culture plans

The chief executive of Londonderry's culture company, Shona McCarthy, has praised the Department of Culture for showing real vision in contributing an extra £12.6m towards the city's culture celebrations.

The money will be used for a programme of events including the Earhart, Gasyard and Maiden City festivals, as well as new projects.

Shona McCarthy said it was unprecedented to see such an investment in culture during a time of economic difficulty.

"I think there has been real vision shown here on the part of the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister and the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure because to invest in culture at this time when we are in an economic crisis does show vision, two of the growth areas of our economy are cultural tourism and the creative industries and here we are in the north, with a major investment of £12.6m going into cultural programming," she said.

Derry, which was short-listed alongside Birmingham, Sheffield and Norwich, will take the mantle in 2013.

The idea for a UK City of Culture came from the success of Liverpool during its year as European Capital of Culture in 2008.

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