Arts Council of Northern Ireland

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Omagh Arts Centre Gets Underway

Wednesday 9th March 2005 at 1pm 0 Comments

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland congratulated Omagh District Council on taking a crucial step forward in the development of an exciting new Arts Centre for the town today. This morning (March 7 th) at 11.30am, the main construction contract for the build was signed at Omagh District Council’s offices at The Grange, followed at 12.30pm by the cutting of the sod at the cleared former Town Hall site on the banks of the River Strule.

Paul Harron, the Arts Council’s Architecture and Public Art Officer, who attended the events on behalf of the Arts Council, said, “This is an exciting step forward. After considerable efforts made by Omagh District Council, we are delighted to see the appointed contractors taking possession of the site and beginning the construction of the new building. The new state-of-the-art Centre will be a very important part of the arts infrastructure in the west of Northern Ireland, providing excellent, modern facilities for artists working in a variety of media and disciplines, and for the public who will have access to a wide range of activities and events in a flexible and vibrant building.”

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland awarded Omagh District Council a National Lottery Capital grant of £4 million in 1999 for the new Arts Centre scheme – the largest Capital award made by the Arts Council to date. The project is also being funded by Omagh District Council and by the Department of Social Development.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

The new Omagh Arts Centre is to be situated off the Main Street, the chief thoroughfare of the town, behind what was the original Omagh Town Hall (now demolished) and in front of the Strule River. It is to be a multi-functional state-of-the-art building which will incorporate a number of arts facilities including a mid-sized auditorium, as well as a relocated Tourist Office and a café/restaurant. The project is also a major urban regeneration scheme which will transform the river bank and surrounding area, creating new civic spaces and walkways and a pedestrian bridge across the river to link up with the Further Education College on the other side. The regeneration and external enhancement aspects of the scheme are being funded by ODC and DSD; Arts Council Lottery funding is being directed to the arts functions of the building.

The Design & Works Team is as follows:

  • Architects – Kennedy Fitzgerald;
  • QS – VB Evans; Doran Consulting; BDP;
  • Theatre Consultant – Maurice Power.

For further information, contact Frank Sweeney, Head of Arts and Tourism at Omagh District Council, on 028 8224 5321.

For information on the Arts Council’s National Lottery Capital programme, or on details of the Arts Council’s role in architecture and the built environment, contact Paul Harron, Architecture and Public Art Officer, on 028 90 385200.

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