Question Time: Culture, Arts and Leisure 14 January 2014

The Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure, Carál Ní Chuilín answered questions relating to Stadium Development; DCAL Capital Projects; City of Culture; Great War Commemoration and Libraries. You can view the full list of questions on our website.

Tom Elliott and Michelle McIlveen wanted the Minister to provide an update on the development of Windsor Park, Ravenhill and Casement Park.

The Minister indicated that the completion of the construction works for Windsor Park is planned for September 2015 and that she will have further meetings with stakeholders from Casement and Ravenhill, particularly around benefits.

Members BoyleMcCartney and Kelly were keen to find out what legacy plans are in place for the City of Culture 2013.

The Minister stated:
Recently, I announced my strategic vision for the City of Culture legacy, not just for the city of Derry but, indeed, the north-west.  I have secured over £2 million for the period from January to March 2014 to support a continuation of key projects from the city's culture programme and to prevent the loss of key benefits and partnerships.  That will also stimulate new collaborations between creative industries and businesses and provide strategic investment to sports facility development in the north-west.
The Minister also stated that she was:
...keen to ensure that a DCAL office will be set up in Derry to further enhance focus in the north-west.  That will have responsibility for coordination and oversight of culture, arts and leisure activity in the area, which will include Derry, Strabane, Limavady and Coleraine.  My officials are preparing detailed arrangements and costs, and it is my intention to have the new departmental office in place for the start of the 2014-15 financial year.
When asked by Jo-Anne Dobson what action she has taken to increase the usage of libraries and their facilities the Minister had this to say:
..our libraries are community hubs, and, to ensure that they have a good environment, an investment programme is under way to refurbish or replace a number of library buildings and vehicles.  In addition, the £28 million e2 replacement IT system will provide faster broadband and Wi-Fi in every library for its users.  The ongoing development of partnerships along with investment in staff, stock and facilities and increased community engagement is helping to realise the vision of providing a flexible and responsive library service that assists people to fulfil their full potential.
During Topical Questions the Minister answered questions on Fish Stocks; Sports Facilities; Child Obesity; Boxing; Casement Park; Poetry; Mountain Bike Trail and the Giro d'Italia.
You can read the full transcript on our website.

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