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Council teams pulling out all the stops in preparation for Foyle Maritime Festival

10 July 2018

As the city welcomes the Clipper Round the World fleet for the 2018 Foyle Maritime Festival this week, Derry City and Strabane District Council’s teams are pulling out all the stops to guarantee the best possible experience for the tens of thousands of visitors who will descend on Queen’s Quay.

The Maritime Festival is the biggest project of the year for Council’s award winning Festival and Events Team who have been working tirelessly to make sure their packed programme of events has something for everyone.

Director of Business and Culture at Derry City and Strabane District Council, Stephen Gillespie, said they have also been working closely with local businesses to help them reap the maximum benefit from the event.

“From the Race Arrivals this week through to the Parade of Sail and departure of the fleet on Sunday July 22nd we have an extensive and varied programme of activities, live music and street performances for the public to enjoy each day along with the best of local food and drink.

“We are working closely with our statutory partners in the Council led Safety Advisory Group to help minimise traffic disruption and ensure a safe experience for the tens of thousands of people who we look forward to welcoming to the city each day.

“Our Business Development Team are working on a number of initiatives with local traders and businesses to ensure they realise the potential of the increased footfall in the city centre while our Clipper Connect networking event will allow the local commercial sector to network with Clipper’s international partners.

“We are delighted to be launching the website www.explorederry.events this week which will allow the public to discover special offers, promotions and unique, seasonal experiences available during the Clipper Festival and other council run events.”        

With international media reporting on the event and visitors from all over the globe travelling to attend, the eyes of the world will be on the City and District and Council’s Environment teams have been making the necessary preparations to ensure public spaces are in peak condition as Head of Environment Conor Canning explained.

“Council’s teams and contractors have been performing deep cleaning of the public realm and quayside area so that it looks its best,” he said.

“We have also arranged a number of bulky lifts and extra waste lifts around the Council area and our award winning Ground Maintenance team have been particularly focusing on making sure our floral displays and open spaces are in prime condition.

“During the festival, our Cleansing division will carry out extra shifts in the city centre and quayside area to cope with the extra footfall in those areas and to ensure the area looks immaculate before the programme of events each day.” 

The additional entertainment and hospitality for the event has necessitated a high volume of occasional license applications for Council’s Licensing and Street Trading department to process as Head of Health and Community Wellbeing Seamus Donaghy explained.

“We have experienced a spike in temporary trading applications for the Foyle Merchant Markets and Maritime Markets on Queen’s Quay which will offer an emporium of food and merchandise,” he said.

“Our Licensing and Environmental Health officers will be on the ground during the Festival ensuring that the public can enjoy the best of food, drink and entertainment in a safe and controlled environment.”

The Foyle Maritime Festival returns to Derry~Londonderry from 14th – 22nd July 2018 and will host the stopover of the Clipper Race 2017-18 as they near the end of their Round the World Journey.  

Queens Quay will once again be transformed into a maritime wonderland full of fun, activities, music, arts and crafts to welcome the Clipper Race yachts back.

Full programme details at www.foylemaritimefestival.com.