Background information

Background to UK City of Culture

Derry~Londonderry made history in July 2010 when it was awarded the inaugural UK City of Culture designation for 2013. The journey towards City of Culture is both compelling and ambitious and will help unlock creativity and generate new connections to shape the new story of our city’s vibrant future.

Culture Company 2013 is the lead partner in the delivery of the City of Culture programme and seeks to utilise and build upon existing infrastructure in terms of people, physical venues and shared space to develop a cultural programme of activity in the lead up to 2013.  It aims to produce a series of key events in 2013 and a complete year-long programme of cultural activities, act as a catalyst to build the economy of the region and deliver a lasting legacy for the people and economy. The core themes of the City of Culture project are Joyous Celebration and Purposeful Inquiry with four distinct components:

1, Unlocking Creativity
2, Creative Connections
3, Digital Dialogue
4, Creating a New Story

A key strand of the delivery of the programme will take place through extensive digital engagement across a series of online platforms – website(s), social media, web TV and mobile apps.

After many years of turmoil Derry-Londonderry is enjoying the dividend of the peace process and undergoing a renaissance, transforming physically and culturally.  Being designated UK City of Culture for 2013 enables the city to accelerate the pace of change and provides a new story for the city to tell to the world.

We have already begun a programme of unparalleled cultural activity, which will result in 2013 being an extraordinary year in an extraordinary place.

2013 also marks the building of the walls by the City of London livery companies and the potential for the renewal of relationships with London.

The Cultural programme for 2013 is already substantially developed and will feature a calendar full of big ‘cultural brands’ including the Turner Prize, London Symphony Orchestra, Royal National Ballet, Lumiere, Hofesh Shechter.

The unfolding story of our physical renaissance is spectacular.  The new Peace Bridge and the former military base at Ebrington have been formally recognised in national awards as being truly stand out quality.

The City is part of Project Kelvin with the fastest transatlantic digital links and is, courtesy of Culture Company 2013’s principal partner, BT, now 100% superfast broadband enabled, the first Irish, or UK, city to be so.

The City intends to grow its digital capacity adding to the range of global companies who already do business here including Seagate, DuPont, All State, Fujitsu and First Source.

The City has been rapidly developing its tourism offer and its exceptional assets include the most complete walled city in Europe, its peace making history and the lively youth culture make it a ‘cultural powerhouse’.

The purpose of the City Of Culture designation is to accelerate the change in the City’s fortunes by driving a step change in the economy, principally through the tourism and creative media sectors. It is the ambition of the Culture Company to deliver a world-class programme, that will more than double the day trippers and overnight visitors to the city.