Legenderry. That was the final word of the united bid for the award, put forward by a comprehensive group from Derry/Londonderry. Amidst competition from 28 other UK cities, Derry has been awarded the status of The UK City of Culture, beating Birmingham and many others in the judge’s final decision, announced today. So what makes a successful bid for the award and what does it mean for the local area?The chairman of the panel, Phil Redmond explained, “It was a unanimous vote, the easiest decision in that respect. It is particularly special for local people who have clearly been yearning for the chance to open up their cultural heritage, improve social cohesion and share their brilliance. I hope that Derry will attract more national events such as the BAFTA awards, the Turner Prize and the Sports Personality of the Year.”The bid was won by showing distinctiveness and communicating this clearly. Derry’s long historical heritage of conflict, military and naval events and social troubles has been flipped to forward-thinking blue chip events. Sons and Daughters is one of the planned strategies which champions local people such as poet Seamus Heaney, musician Feargal Sharkey and actor James Nesbitt. One outcome is that every child living in Derry will have access to music tuition. A full range of events are planned right up until November 2012 when the city readies itself for its year in the spotlight.This new model forming between arts and city and society will set the precedent for future cities of culture in the UK and provide a springboard from which we can look forward and express/resolve issues of the past. Derry needs a totally inclusive nature to succeed and make the best use of this award, bringing in outside investment and jobs to the area.The year in question, 2013, is also the 400th anniversary of the building of the city’s walls. Commonly called the noose in the past, as they could not be walked around, the walls are now more fondly referred to as the necklace. From one aspect, the bog-side murals and site of bloody Sunday can be viewed and from another one can walk right into the Guild Hall grounds, see the river Foyle and the site of the newly planned Peace Bridge. Speaking on BBC Radio Ulster, First Minister for Northern Ireland referred to, “the sense of excitement at the tremendous opportunity; the city has not tried to hide its past but has used culture to draw people together”. Deputy First Minister responded, “This is due to the imagination of Martin Malarkey who, 20 years ago, inspired the city’s modern day talents. This united bid moves us on together for social and economic benefits to come”.When compared with the European Capital of Culture, Liverpool, in 2008, Derry is right to expect boosts in investment, employment, blue chip events and more to come as Liverpool brought £18million into the economy in their spotlight year. This will not only benefit the local tourism industry but all of Northern Ireland as they prepare to showcase their best talents and raise their hospitality facilities to world class standards.