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Council agrees to work with DFC on new process for Factory Girls Sculpture

10 October 2018

Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Business and Culture Committee have today given their approval for officers to work with the Department for Communities to progress with a new process to bring forward the delivery of the Factory Girls Sculpture following a decision by the Department to discontinue with the current process on the grounds of value for money.

Members attending the monthly meeting of the Committee at the Guildhall, were informed of the background to the project and how, despite the commitment and desire by all partners to deliver it, the Department for Communities, as project funders, are unable to continue with the current process as the total cost is now unjustifiable and does not represent value for money with the public expenditure system.

The Chairperson of the Business and Culture Committee, Cllr Patricia Logue said that while it is disappointing that the current process is being discontinued, the Council welcomes the fact that a new process will immediately be put into place.

“Derry City and Strabane District Council is fully committed to working with the Department for Communities to deliver a suitable piece of public art as a fitting tribute to the factory girls of this city and district. Members were assured today that both organisations will immediately put a process in place to have a new tender put out for a Factory Girls Sculpture. Members have also agreed to progress with a view to having the sculpture located at Harbour Square taking into account the fact that planning permission has already been agreed at the site.

“As a Council we have a responsibility to ensure that all projects represent value for money and while it is disappointing that the current process is being discontinued, we remain fully committed to delivering on this hugely significant public art project for the city and district. We fully recognise the importance of recognising the contribution of the shirt factory workers to our city in the form of this of public art piece. We believe it will be a valuable homage and significant reminder to the rich heritage and those who worked hard in the textile industry across the city and district.”