SDLP councillor Séamas de Faoite has said that hosting next year’s Eurovision Song Contest is a unique opportunity for Belfast.
Belfast City Council has agreed to submit an official bid to host the competition if the city is among the places shortlisted.
The shortlist is set to be announced on Friday, with the host city replacing Ukraine, who won this year’s contest.
Councillor de Faoite said:
“Hosting next year’s Eurovision song contest would be a huge opportunity for Belfast and bring some much-needed joy to people across Northern Ireland after what has been a very difficult few years. We will find out tomorrow if we have been successful in having Belfast shortlisted as one of the host cities and if we get the news we’re hoping for I’m urging everyone to get behind our bid and do everything possible to make it a success.
“This island has a rich history of Eurovision and from Dana to Brian Kennedy the North has been well represented over the years. Around the world Belfast is known for its arts and culture and this has been recognised with our status as UNESCO City of Music. Time and time again we have proven our capability when it comes to hosting events of this nature and Eurovision would be no different.
“An event of this magnitude would be a gamechanger for Belfast, it would attract thousands of visitors to the region with all of the economic benefits that would bring and could act as an opportunity to trubocharge the kind of changes we want to see in our city, including more open spaces and a much-needed facelift.
“Belfast is uniquely placed to hold next year’s event, given our strong solidarity with Ukraine and our understanding of what it means to desire peace after having your home rocked by conflict. The North has been heavily involved in relief efforts for the Ukrainian people and I know we’d be doubly determined to do them proud if our bid makes the shortlist tomorrow and is ultimately successful in hosting the competition.”