Friday marked a historic moment in the development of regional partnership between Wexford, Waterford and Kilkenny as they launched their joint once in a generation bid to be selected as European Capital of Culture in 2020.
The launch took place at Waterford Medieval Museum where the Mayor, Cathaoirligh and Chief Executives of the three councils formally signed an agreement to present a regional bid, to be led by Waterford, for the title of European Capital of Culture 2020.
Each year the EU designates two cities as European Capitals of Culture and in 2020 Ireland will be eligible to host this prestigious event.
Through a competitive bidding process, Irish cities must demonstrate that they can deliver a unique and promising programme of cultural and artistic events throughout the year.
The cities organise a series of cultural events combining strong European dimensions along with showcasing regional cultural products.
Wexford County Council chairperson Malcolm Byrne said being a European Capital of Culture offers huge potential in raising the profile of the county and region both nationally and internationally. It can also realise significant economic benefits for the region.
Local participation will be key and the contribution of individuals and groups from all sectors in informing the process will be sought throughout the year in a series of workshops and briefings. The Wexford, Waterford, Kilkenny bid will come up against bids by Dublin and Galway in Ireland, among many others abroad.