Londonderry picture by Flickr user ifyr

Londonderry picture by Flickr user ifyr

 

Londonderry is to become a City of Culture in 2013 and has announced plans to upgrade its rail services, improve cultural venues and build six new hotels in preparation.

It has unveiled a programme of events throughout the year, including a music and dance festival, contemporary visual art events, theatre productions, and a comedy festival. The famous Turner Prize and the Stirling Awards will be held in the city, and it is also set to hold WOMAD (World of Music and Dance) and FLEADH, Ireland’s biggest Irish and Celtic music festival.

Martin Bradley, chair for the City of Culture, said: “It will tell a new story and completely regenerate the city. We can celebrate the history and give young people a whole new outlook.”

Last month a bomb was left outside the City of Culture offices, however he reassured visitors about the safety level of the city: “Unfortunately there was one small incident, but because events are so seldom here they make the headlines. It is an extremely safe city. We have a very low crime rate compared to other UK cities.”