Belfast to bow out of UK City of Culture race, Londonderry goes on

Councillors at Belfast City Council have decided that they won’t, after all, be putting forward a bid to become the UK’s City of Culture in 2013 – despite it being the 400th anniversary of the signing of the city’s first charter by James I. The decision by the Development Committee has still to be ratified by the full Council. From the BBC report

Ulster Unionist councillor Bob Stoker said he believed a bid, which has to be submitted by December 11, would cost around £1m. “I don’t think we can do justice to the city of Belfast within such a short period of time,” Cllr Stoker said. “Would the ratepayer be getting value for money if we put £1m into a bid that is highly likely to fail?” He said he also believed Belfast had to do more work on its cultural attractions in order to win such a competition.

No such worries in Londonderry [Shouldn’t that be “satanic” Derry? – Ed] Possibly.. Although the city was not named on the longlist when it was announced Derry City Council are to disregard any financial concerns, as usual, and will be pressing ahead with their bid.