Josepha Madigan TD, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, officially opened the newly-extended and refurbished Roscommon Arts Centre on Friday morning. There was a large crowd present as the new building was unveiled to the public, after almost a year-long programme of work.
Funded by Roscommon County Council and part-funded by The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the re-development and extension to the centre includes two new purpose-built spaces (a gallery and a workshop space), an extension to both the foyer and backstage areas, and the re-development of the existing gallery space into two artist studios, while making the building fully accessible to people with disabilities for the first time.
Minister Madigan paid tribute to all assocaited with the project. Addressing guests on Friday morning, the Minister said: “The Department recognises the importance that regional venues such as Roscommon Arts Centre make locally and the capital investment made in this project by the Department reflects this. The new extension to Roscommon Arts Centre addresses all the accessibility issues that existed with the original gallery and workshop spaces and improves the overall visitor experience”.
Acknowledging the ongoing support which Roscommon Arts Centre receives from Roscommon County Council, the Minister continued: “As demonstrated by this re-development, there is a strong commitment from both the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Roscommon County Council to support the continued development of the arts infrastructure at a local level”.
She went on to say: “This purpose-built gallery and workshop space, together with the new artist studios, also clearly demonstrates the commitment that exists within Roscommon County Council to supporting artists – there are now more spaces than ever locally in which artists can develop and present work and I look forward to watching how this develops in the future”.
Chief Executive of Roscommon County Council Eugene Cummins, who also spoke at Friday’s event, said: “The extension marks the beginning of an exciting new era at Roscommon Arts Centre. I know for many years, there have been calls for a better gallery space in Roscommon and I am delighted that we have finally delivered on this”.
He continued: “This building is for the people of Roscommon and I hope that whether they be young or old; performer, participant or audience member, they enjoy their visit here and are proud to call Roscommon Arts Centre their own”.