Derry City of Culture team make their final pitch

Image caption,
The bid got a great send off from the City of Culture office in Derry in May

The team behind the Derry/Londonderry City of Culture 2013 have pitched their final bid to the judging panel.

The 10-strong team travelled to Liverpool to give their presentation.

Led by Derry City Council's Valerie Watts, the team included Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Junior Minister Robin Newton.

"Let's hope that the judging panel recognise a place of talent, creativity, energy and strength," said Ms Watts.

"Being one of the four shortlisted cities is a huge achievement and something we should all be proud of."

Derry has been short-listed along with Birmingham, Sheffield and Norwich.

The team delivered a 20-minute pitch, followed by 100 minutes of detailed questioning from the judging panel.

Mr McGuinness said that following the publication of the Saville Report, people in Derry felt they could now move forward.

"Some people call it Derry. Others call it Londonderry. But we all call it home," he said.

"Derry is an inherently creative and resilient city. We have a new story to tell.

"Becoming the City of Culture will represent a turning point, a pivotal moment when 'hope and history rhyme' making us a beacon of transformation to communities across the world. It is our ambition to see 'the town we love so well' become a city that is truly 'legenderry'."

Minister Newton said the bid showed a city "looking to its future".

"The people of Londonderry, the north west and Northern Ireland and their political representatives, stand united behind this bid," he said.

"To recognise Londonderry today as the UK City of Culture 2013 will not only transform a city but a region and indeed a country both culturally and economically for years to come."

The winning city will be announced in mid-July.

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