THE economic spin off from Limerick’s stint as national City of Culture “could be anything up to an additional €100m spend in 2014”, according to Conn Murray.
The preview programme for City of Culture, which secured €6m in funding from government, was launched this Monday in the city and is a vibrant one that chairman Pat Cox called “edgy, urban and contemporary” which he said can “unlock and revitalise Limerick’s cultural potential”.
The year will start with a massive New Year’s Eve carnival and includes a four night performance of Riverdance in the UL Arena in January.
Limerick manager Conn Murray told the Limerick Leader that it was “an enormous opportunity, because it has given us a platform which we otherwise have to fight for”.
He praised the “enormous support and a shot in the arm from Government in terms of a €6m spend”.
“I believe that the spend effectively in terms of performance and input into the city, can actually be doubled, and that would be our ambition,” he said.
Asked about the economic spin-off for the region, he said: “It is anticipated that it could be anything up to an additional €100m spend in 2014 in Limerick as a consequence of this particular project.”
The programme features 200 different performances and exhibitions, spanning all aspects of culture over 12 months and under 13 different themes.
Of the 329 local groups that applied for funding, 109 were successful, a fact that the programmers hope will leave a lasting legacy.
The programme boasts a heady mix of the international, national and local - including the NoFit State Circus, an Irish premiere of Faust, the Irish Chamber Orchestra performing in the Milk Market with Ballet Ireland, a ‘People’s Museum’, a Proms in the Park style event, renowned flautist James Galway performing in the UCH, The Pigtown Bus by The Cranberries’ Noel Hogan, the Irish premiere of Fuerza Bruta, - Macnas’ Melodica, a food festival, a children’s festival, The Tain in association with Dance Limerick, a digital youth media festival and much more.
Mr Cox said the programme aims to “unlock and reveal Limerick’s cultural potential, to turn the city into a year-long national stage, hosting acts, arts and events from the intensely local and community based to international acts which will perform for the first time ever in Ireland”.
“The edgy, urban and contemporary will blend with the traditional to reveal the rich cultural diversity and heritage of the Treaty City. This year will be a chance to shine a light on Limerick and to lift the lid on the best that we have to offer as Ireland’s premier cultural venue in 2014,” he said.
View the preview programme visit the website here and see the Limerick Leader weekend editions for full analysis.