The Cathedral Quarter is preparing to welcome visitors for a weekend of entertainment and animation this September and the opportunity to enjoy a visit to its charming historic streets and shops completely traffic free.
Within the area surrounding St Columb’s Cathedral a small network of streets lies tucked within the City’s famous Walls, where a cornucopia of cafes, restaurants, galleries and heritage venues ply their trade. The area has gained renown as a unique cultural quarter, popular with visitors following the heritage trail around Derry’s most celebrated landmarks, and those seeking out some of the City’s more quirky shops and galleries.On September 4th and 5th the streets of Upper Magazine St, Society Street, Place St, Pump St and Artillery St will close to traffic to offer additional space for a programme of fun animation, street performance, music and outdoor trading as part of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s campaign to support local businesses in the wake of Covid-19.
The Covid Revitalisation and Recovery Programme is supported by the Department for Communities, introducing a range of measures in recent months to boost trade and restore customer confidence. The plans have involved the reimagining and reconfiguring of public spaces, providing more open, customer friendly areas featuring new street furniture and covered areas. Pilot traffic free zones such as the one planned for the Cathedral Quarter will allow venues, organisations and visitors to make better use of urban spaces and will help shape plans for the streetscapes of the future.
But for now it’s all about bringing life and colour back to our town and city centres, as Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Alderman Graham Warke, explains. “This pilot scheme is just one of a full programme of measures geared towards supporting our local businesses and kick starting the local economy after what has been a prolonged period of inactivity and uncertainty.”Over the summer months we have enjoyed some fantastic pop up animation which has reintroduced some fun in a safe and controlled way as we begin the cautious return to normal life. It will take time, but Council has been working closely with the local business community and listening to their needs to see how we can best channel resources to have a maximum impact on the Covid Recovery.”I’m really looking forward to this weekend of activity in the Cathedral Quarter, which is a hidden gem just waiting to be explored. I hope to see lots of people taking the opportunity to visit the area, and to see for themselves all it has to offer in terms of history, architecture, culture and retail.”Business, arts organisations and venues in the area have been involved in programming for the CQ Weekend which will offer a blend of entertainment, extended opening hours, access to attractions, special offers, and outdoors trading.
Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey said: “My Department introduced the Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Programme to support our towns and city centres in their recovery. Derry City and Strabane District Council has received over £1.6 million through the programme. I hope that events such as the Cathedral Quarter Weekend will continue to encourage people back into our towns and city centres to spend time supporting our local businesses, and ultimately help to keep our town and city centres alive and prosperous. The continued partnership working between local and central government and the business community will also help local businesses continue with their recovery”.
The Cathedral Quarter weekend will run from Saturday September 4th – Sunday September 5th from 10am – 6pm daily. That weekend will also see the return of In Your Space’s Carnival of Colours to city centre streets, the Walled City Market and some Legenderry Street Food Events on London Street. More Information on all the activities can be found at summernorthwest.com.