€3 million Tullamore Arts Centre moves closer as council give project timeline

Offaly County Council approved final planning for the works

Justin Kelly

Reporter:

Justin Kelly

Email:

justin.kelly@iconicnews.ie

Tullamore Arts Centre moves closer after council approve planning

Tullamore Arts Centre moves closer after council approve planning

The long-running bid to turn the old Kilroy's Store on High Street, Tullamore, into a Community Arts Centre has moved another step closer after Offaly County Council gave the project final planning approval.

The approval was referenced at the May meeting of Offaly County Council, during which, the Chief Executive's report on the plans was published to members. The recommendation from that report was that the Arts Centre development "should proceed with modifications."

Chief Executive of Offaly County Council, Anna Marie Delaney welcomed the progress on the plan and said total funding will have to be in place before the works can go out to tender over the summer months.

The project is being funded partially by a government grant of €2 million, but with the project now looking like it could cost €3 million, Offaly County Council plan to approach the Government for an additional €500,000 tranche of money.

Local fundraising is thought to have hit almost €200,000 but Anna Marie Delaney recognised that additional fundraising will likely be needed to complete the project, which includes provision for a 250-seater theatre. 

Questioned by councillors on a timeline for the project, which has been in the pipeline for more than a decade, Offaly County Council management envisaged a tendering process to begin in July of this year, with builders on site before the end of the year and a completion date of late 2019 or early 2020, subject to the finances being in order. 

Upon completion of the project, should it go ahead, Offaly County Council is likely to make ongoing contributions to the Tullamore Arts Centre, similar to those made to Birr Theatre in the council budget each year. 

The works on the Kilroy's site will include alterations to the layout and elevation of the building with a new roof to the first floor level to the rear of the building. The new extension will be over four levels, providing for a theatre space and bar area.

The development will also see alterations to Meath Lane, and the plans include an intention to re-open the side street. Access will also be provided for from the Tara Street side as part of the ambitious plans.

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