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Derry crowned first UK City of Culture

16th July 2010

Derry-Londonderry has been named the inaugural UK City of Culture, after seeing off competition from rival bidders Sheffield, Norwich and Birmingham.

The Northern Irish city will host a year-long celebration of culture in 2013 and it is expected that thousands of people will visit the area to learn about its unique heritage.

To start the celebration, Derry will host contemporary music and dance festival Sons and Daughters at the start of the year, followed by a number of events such as an international festival of visual art, a cultural embassies programme and a water-based pageant on the River Foyle.

In addition, the city has pledged to invest more than GBP 200 million in its infrastructure, in a bid to gain World Heritage Status for its historic walls and to create a national cultural treasure at Ebrington Barracks.

Valerie Watts, town clerk and chief executive of Derry City Council, commented: 'We have been given a once in a lifetime chance not only to share our innate talent, creativity and energy with the rest of the world, but also to transform this region forever.'

Supporting Derry's bid earlier in the year, actor Liam Neeson revealed that he discovered the 'energy, creativity and focus' of the city when he was there performing in the world premiere of Brian Friel's Translations.

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