The Three Sisters region (Waterford, Wexford and Kilkenny) formed an historic partnership in a bid to win the European Capital of Culture (ECoC) 2020. It is the first time in the 31 year history ofthe European Union’s cultural competition that three counties have united together as equal partners to bid for the title. The unique partnership offers enormous potential through the implementation of a Regional Cultural Strategy, which the three councils unanimously adopted in May this year.
The European selection panel today awarded the ECoC 2020 title to Galway 2020, and despite this disappointing news, the Three Sisters Region is looking forward to a new and exciting future. The Regional Cultural Strategy aims to deliver culture-led regeneration and development, and will remain in place until 2025. A core focus of the framework will be to progress with a number of projects that were developed under the ECoC 2020 proposal, on a smaller scale.
Commenting on the decision, Councillor Adam Wyse, Mayor of Waterford City and County Council said “While we are disappointed at today’s news, we are very much looking forward to moving ahead with the Regional Cultural Strategy. We have every confidence that this programme will lead to regeneration through cultural initiatives, and will enhance the lives of our people. On behalf of the Three Sisters team, I would like to congratulate Galway 2020 on winning the European Capital of Culture 2020. We know they will do a fantastic job.”
Councillor Matt Doran, Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council said “The Three Sisters initiative has succeeded in breaking down barriers between the three counties and has united the region. Our many cultural and artistic groups, local businesses and minority groups will continue to work together to create a culturally inclusive and open region, guided by our Regional Cultural Strategy.”
Councillor Paddy Kavanagh, Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council said “I would like to thank the people and local businesses of Wexford, Waterford and Kilkenny whose support for the bid was overwhelming. I also wish to thank all the members of the Bid Team who have worked tirelessly on this project. We hope that we have inspired other small regions to work together through culture to transform their future.”