“This further signifies the positive effect the City of Culture title is generating in the region…”

Whilst Comhaltas dither, and differ, over whether to hold their All-Ireland Fleadh in Londonderry during the UK City of Culture year in 2013, the UK’s Big Lottery Fund Chair, Peter Ainsworth, was in the city today to announce a £1million small grants programme to “support communities across Northern Ireland that want to play a part in the City of Culture celebrations in 2013.”

From the UK’s Big Lottery Fund press release

Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive of Culture Company 2013, said: “We warmly welcome the announcement of this significant investment in the North West by the Big Lottery Fund.

“This further signifies the positive effect the City of Culture title is generating in the region and the commitment of the Big Lottery Fund to continue to generate positive change within communities.

“Through this investment from the Big Lottery Fund and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, communities will be able to improve people’s lives and consolidate community activity in 2013 and beyond.”

“This major announcement is a tangible sign that the City of Culture process is already having a direct and positive impact on the city community.”

Timing, eh?