Belfast Telegraph

Derry's The Venue to be dismantled

A specially constructed facility that has hosted some of Londonderry's biggest City of Culture events is to be dismantled, it has been confirmed.

No private sector investor is interested in retaining The Venue - a huge tented structure erected at a cost of almost £5 million on the former military barracks site at Ebrington.

Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland, whose department provided £4.8 million for the project, said: "It is apparent that there is no interest from the private sector to keep and run The Venue after 2013."

The minister revealed that it would cost almost £6,000 a month to run The Venue, which would generate an annual rates bill of around £30,000.

A Government-run information session on the possibility of keeping The Venue was held earlier this month but was attended by only one potential investor who deemed the project not profitable.

Mr McCausland added: "The Venue has made an important contribution to the success of the UK City of Culture 2013.

"However, The Venue is a temporary facility and from the outset it was planned that it would be dismantled in January 2014. As there is no appetite within the private sector to finance and run The Venue beyond 2013, my department will proceed with the plans to commence the dismantling works in January 2014."

Almost 100,000 people have attended events such as the Radio 1 Big Weekend, the Ulster boxing championship finals, the Sons & Daughters concert, as well as performances by Elvis Costello, Chic and Status Quo.

The Venue will be removed at a cost of £442,000 in the new year.

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