Roscommon Arts Centre awarded €1m grant

  Roscommon Arts Centre received a grant of €1m to redevelop the centre under the Arts and Culture Capital Enhancement Support Scheme II (ACCESS II 2007 – 2009), which were announced last week by Minister for Arts, Sport & Tourism, John O’Donoghue.               In response to the news County Arts Officer Philip Delamere said he was delighted with the award adding that the much needed upgrading required had been in planning for the last couple of years and that now the facility would be able to reach its full potential.             Of the 200 applications which were made to the fund, (70% of which was for the upgrading of existing facilities), Roscommon Arts Cetnre was one of only 11 projects to receive a grant of over one million euro.             Roscommon Arts Centre opened its doors to the public in 2000 and since then, it has successfully developed and delivered a high-quality programme of events featuring visual arts, drama, music, dance, comedy and film, together with workshops and other projects.                         The concept of a phased development of the centre emerged in 2000 as not all elements of the arts centre could be fully developed within the available funding at that time. Consequently Roscommon County Council opted to build a high quality performing arts and film space with interim foyer, exhibition, workshop, cafe and administration facilities. Enhancement of the latter facilities would comprise Phase 2 of the Master Plan as further funding became available to complete the facility to professional standards.             As part of his tenure as Architect in Residence in 2005, Dominic Stevens developed the initial plans for Phase II, which eventually became the core of this application.             Phase II will involve the building of two visual art gallery spaces, a multimedia suite, bar/café facility along with greatly enhanced foyer, workshop, box office and administration facilities. Crucially the plans involve making every aspect of the facility fully accessible for people with limited mobility.             This is undoubtedly great news for Roscommon Arts Centre and following the development it will be able to provide a service of the highest quality to the highest standards for all the people of Roscommon and beyond of all ages and backgrounds.