In West Cork one of the great advantages we have is the “Real Capital” of Ireland Cork City is on our doorstep.
Situated on islands on the River Lee, sheltered by surrounding slopes it is a place of charm, vitality and culture at the head of the largest natural harbour in Europe. With a young population due to its universities, colleges and Hi-Tech industries the City of Cork is a hopping place with music and venues, a cafe and food culture and a vibrant theatre, music and club scene. Indeed down South we think it’s all you would want in a capital city only perfectly to scale. Now our little local secret seems to be out as Cork, Dublin and Galway have been named amongst the best cities in Europe for cultural vibrancy and cultural infrastructure in a special European Report launched in Brussels.
The first edition of the Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor considers how 168 cities across 30 European countries perform when it comes to Cultural Vibrancy, the Creative Economy and the Enabling Environment of a city. The Report is the first significant mapping and measurement of the value of cultural and creative assets to be published by the European Commission. The report names Cork as the most culturally vibrant city ahead of Paris, Florence, Lisbon and Copenhagen and is fourth in the top five Cultural and Creative Cities within its population group (small to medium).
Dublin is listed as the fifth best city in the same category within its population group (XL cities) and Galway also scores highly, coming in fourth in the top five cities in the Enabling Environment category. The Cultural Venues and Facilities of Cork make it one of only 8 cities in Europe to create the ‘ideal’ Cultural and Creative city, according to the Report, alongside Umea, Eindhoven, Paris, Leuven, Glasgow, Utrecht and Copenhagen. Waterford and Limerick are also referenced in the report and perform well across a range of cultural indicators.
Welcoming the study today, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys said, “The Report highlights the fact that successful European cities have found ways of using the potential of culture and creativity to drive development, innovation and job creation and improve the quality of life for citizens.” She added, “Engagement in culture and creativity drives personal and societal wellbeing, and this report shows that Ireland has an extremely vibrant cultural ecosystem on which we will build through the delivery of the Creative Ireland programme.”
Arts Council director Orlaith McBride congratulated the city on its performance, stating: “Cork has consistently demonstrated the importance of investment in cultural facilities and infrastructure.” Cork City Council chief executive Ann Doherty said: “This research certainly puts Cork in good company.” The commission report also highlights the importance of culture and creativity to the economy of cities, stating the GDP per capita of top ranking cities was €750 higher for each additional point on the Index in 2013 compared with 2009.
Come to Cork and experience our Culture and Creativity for yourself!