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Second UK City of Culture campaign imminent

Last Updated: 29 Mar 2012

Following the appointment of Derry-Londonderry to serve as the inaugural UK City of Culture next year, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey has revealed that a second competition – centring on 2017 – will commence later this year.

Designed to deliver enduring social and economic benefits – including a significant uplift in total visitor numbers – the City of Culture initiative is intended to build on Liverpool’s success as European Capital of Culture in 2008.

For Liverpool, its one-year special status delivered a major boost to the accommodation sector. Pam Wilsher, Head of Visitor Economy Development for Liverpool City Region, told AKH: “Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture year of 2008 transformed the image of the city and added a new cultural dimension to its established visitor offer. There was a 26% uplift in the number of city centre hotels rooms sold , a 7% increase in occupancy, and a 14% increase in room yield on the previous year. 43% of all visitors to the city were influenced to make the visit by Capital of Culture and 45% of all visitors were on their first visit to the city. 15 million people attended a cultural event during the year and attendances at attractions soared from 3.3 million to 4.6 million during the year. Since 2008 and despite the recession, the number of hotels rooms sold has continued to rise. Attraction attendances, whilst dipping since the high of 2008, have continued to grow steadily.”

For Derry-Londonderry, the next 12-18 months promise a flurry of activity. The city will play a major part in the London 2012 Festival – the nationwide cultural celebration set to run alongside the Olympic and Paralympic Games – and will itself stage a series of high-profile events in 2013.

Ed Vaizey commented: “Derry-Londonderry has taken up the challenge of being the very first UK City of Culture and promises a first-rate programme of world class culture in 2013. It’s a prestigious title and I’m delighted to announce that another city will have the chance to shine in 2017.”

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