Derry's 'Good Relations' Gets Cash Boost

A package of new funding is to be used to promote better relations in the North's 'Maiden City'.

Derry is to benefit after the Stormont First Minister Peter Robinson and native Derry-man and the NI Executive's Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, confirmed plans to make funds of some £85,000 available.

The funding package will be delivered through a pilot scheme designed to promote dialogue, 'good relations' and rights by means of a number of community festivals in the city.

Among the festivals which will benefit from funding are the Maiden City Festival, the Gasyard Wall Féile, Shantallow Area Partnership and the Top of Hill Féile.

Stormont's Community Relations Unit will be liaising with Derry City Council and festival organisers to fine-tune the pilot programme details and determine appropriate funding packages.

Unveiling the funding package First Minister Peter Robinson said: "This is a very worthwhile initiative and I have no doubt that it can provide a major boost to the local economy whilst offering everyone in Londonderry an opportunity to celebrate the unique cultural tradition and history of the city."

Mr McGuinness - who still lives in the city - welcomed the pilot scheme and said: "The acceptance and appreciation of the cultural diversity is an important dimension of a shared and better future.

"Derry has been giving a lead in turning cultural events from being divisive to reflecting the diversity which exists in the city and provide a means by which we can promote dialogue, rights and good relations across all sectors," he said, expressing the hope that the pilot programme will provide a blueprint and "act as a good practice model which can be shared in other areas".

The North West boost was announced against a background of heightened tensions in the area as the UPRG - which is linked to the loyalist UDA - said it was withdrawing support for the Stomont government and the PSNI.

A spokesman said the police and government were operating a pro-nationalist agenda.

See: UPRG Ends PSNI And Stormont Support


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