Declan Kelly, the United States Economic Envoy to Northern Ireland, has said that he feels optimistic about Derry’s chances of becoming the U.K. City of Culture in 2013.

Speaking exclusively to, Kelly said that the team felt hopeful after their pitch in Liverpool last week which was attended by representatives from four shortlisted cities chosen from an initial pool of 29 entrants. Norwich, Birmingham and Sheffield compete with Derry for the prestigious award. Kelly is currently taking part in a trade mission in California.

He told the that it was expected that a successful bid by Derry has the potential of creating 2,000 to 3,000 jobs, bring up to an additional £500 million ($614 million) into the local economy.

Kelly said that the pitch was the result of six months of intensive work and planning in Derry by the local bid team from all sectors of the city who helped draft the successful and enticing program of events, in addition one full-time staff member from Declan Kelly's office aided in the planning.

The winner will be announced later this summer.

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Derry hopeful: Irish city top tip for European City of Culture in 2013