Belfast Telegraph

Derry planning bid to be Europe’s youth capital

By Eamonn Macdermott

Derry City is to make a bid to become European Youth Capital 2019.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Elisha McCallion met Department of Culture Arts and Leisure Minister Caral Ni Chuilin during her visit to the city yesterday to discuss plans to make a formal bid.

The mayor said the meeting was very constructive  and a step forward towards getting support from the various departments of the Executive for the city and district’s bid.

Ms McCallion said: “Minister Ni Chuilin was hugely enthusiastic and supportive of the work we are doing to promote our youth and to showcase our cultural, political and social offering and of our long-term commitment to deliver better services and opportunities for our young people.

“The meeting is one of a series of meetings organised with various Government departments to get them on board with our campaign as we work towards preparing for the first phase of the application process.

“The minister recognised the importance of Youth Capital status for the city and district and the benefits it would bring to our youth population as well as placing us on an international map and increase our tourism and economic potential. 

“We are very grateful to Minister Ni Chuilin for taking time out of her busy diary to meet with us and for being so supportive of the work we are doing to give our young people a sense of belonging and pride in their home city and district.”

Council Legacy Director Oonagh McGillion said the bid for European Youth City status was a key priority for the council.

She added: “The European Youth Capital 2019 designation would be the ultimate recognition of the important role that our young people play in shaping their future and playing an active role in delivering projects that benefit future generations.”

Minister Ni Chuilin said: “Derry is a dynamic city with an exciting culture and arts offering which will be central in working to secure European Youth Capital status for the city.

“It would be a fantastic opportunity to showcase the city’s young people and highlight the positive and vital contribution they make to society. It is early days, but I am fully supportive of the council’s bid. My department will work with the council to assist in progressing the bid and securing what would be another great accolade for the city and the wider North West.”

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