Peace Bridge Opening Celebrations

20th May 2011

PRESS RELEASE

Friday 20th May 2011

PEACE BRIDGE OPENING CELEBRATIONS

Ilex, the urban regeneration company today announced the launch of the programme for the official opening of the Peace Bridge and weekend of events, June 25th and 26th.

Aideen McGinley, Ilex’s Chief Executive explained: “The Peace Bridge will be officially opened on June 25th and to mark this historic occasion a weekend of events is being organised to celebrate our new shared public space in Derry~Londonderry. Recognising the importance of community involvement we will celebrate with Foyle Multicultural Forum who are holding their One World Festival in the Craft Village and In Your Space’s Carnivale of Colours in St. Columb’s Park. Once again, the Walled City Market will return to Guildhall Square. The weekend will feature something for everyone and mark this important and significant phase in the city’s development”.

Pat Colgan, Chief Executive of the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) said: “The Peace Bridge is one of the largest and most iconic projects to be supported under the current PEACE III Programme. More than £14.5m has been provided for the successful delivery of the Peace Bridge which is also part of a wider peace and reconciliation programme to proactively encourage greater levels of positive engagement between all communities living within the city”.

The Mayor, Cllr Colum Eastwood commented: “The opening of the PEACE Bridge is destined to be remembered as an iconic day in the history of our city. The symbolism of a new footbridge uniting our city resonates with the shared future that we are working towards and speaks of the progressive journey that we have already made. It is also concrete evidence of the extensive work that is going into the regeneration of our city’s infrastructure and is visible proof of the exciting new opportunities that this process is creating right in the heart of our city.”

The programme of events can be downloaded from www.ilex-urc.com and www.cityofculture2013.com and will be available at outlets across the city and region.

ENDS

For further information contact Mo Durkan, Ilex - 028 7126 9226 or 07917 544297. Press release and bridge images are downloadable on www.ilex-urc.com

NOTES TO EDITORS

The third bridge across the River Foyle, the Peace Bridge has been given £14.677m from the European Union’s PEACE III Programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). The programme’s theme of Creating Shared Public Space aims to support large scale infrastructure developments that will tackle problems of separated communities by creating genuine new shared space or transforming contested space.

Peace Programme

Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland will benefit from a seven-year €33 million PEACE programme made up of €225 million in additional funding from the European Union along with national contributions of €108 million.

The EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland, 2007 – 2013 (the PEACE III Programme) is a distinctive European Union Structural Funds Programme aimed at reinforcing progress towards a peaceful and stable society and promoting reconciliation. It will assist Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland and specifically focus on reconciling communities and contributing towards a shared society.

It will deliver these priorities through measures which will:

  • Build positive relations at the local level
  • Acknowledge the past
  • Create shared public spaces
  • Develop key institutional capacity for a shared society

The programme carries forward key aspects of the previous PEACE Programmes (PEACE I and PEACE II) and has a continued and renewed emphasis on reconciliation. The PEACE III Programme continues the earlier programme’s cross-border focus on Ireland, North and South.

The purpose of the Creating Shared Public Space theme of the PEACE III programme is to tackle problems of separation of communities by creating genuine new shared space or transforming contested space. The focus is on large scale infrastructural developments that expand opportunities for common use, interaction and engagement, and economic development. It is hoped that this opportunity to interact will affect change in behavioural patterns in relation to shopping, working and socialising. €82 million has been allocated to this theme.

Peace Bridge

The Peace Bridge will physically and symbolically unite both sides of the River Foyle and is conceived as two distinct structural systems that work in harmony, a pair of identical curved suspension structures, each allied to opposing banks, in a fluid “S” shaped alignment. At the middle of the river both structural systems tangibly overlap, boldly interacting to create a single unified crossing – a structural handshake across the Foyle and an embrace in the centre of the river.

The Peace Bridge will measure 235 metres and will have a gradient of 1/50. Designed for pedestrians and cyclists, the bridge will run from behind Guildhall Square on to the former Parade Ground in the former Ebrington Barracks.