There was good news in Ballinrobe last Friday when Mayo County Council granted planning permission for the rebuilding of Ballinrobe Town Hall. It is full steam ahead now for the project with a major focus on securing public, private, and community funding to make the hall a reality. The old hall was knocked in 1999 for safety reasons.
At this juncture it looks as if €400,000 will need to be raised from private and community sources to complement public funding. A fundraising plan will shortly be announced. “This is a major milestone – we will now be rallying public and private support so that Ballinrobe can once again have a town hall capable of hosting a wide variety of local events,” said committee chairperson Michael Sweeney.
He continued: “We aim to enlist the financial support of people from this region who live elsewhere in Ireland or outside the country. We will soon launch a fundraising plan that we believe will attract widespread support because all the indications from our public consultation engagement were that Ballinrobe people feel a town hall is badly needed. We would urge people to help the project in any way they can – full details of how they can support the project will be revealed soon. If you would like to help out in any way, please contact a member of the committee.”
The proposal is to build a hall with a gross floor area of 1,000sq m. It will consist of an auditorium and main hall area with seating for some 400 people. Additionally, there will be a provision for balcony seating at first floor level. The main auditorium will possess the capacity for sub-division in order to allow a variety of uses at any one time. A mechanically demountable stage area will allow the possibility of the main hall floor to be extended to encompass the area under the stage. Meeting and changing rooms, kitchen facilities, WC rooms and an impressive foyer, posing a significant southwest aspect over a double height space, are all included in the schedule of accommodation. Within the building, a lift allows universal use of the entire building. There is provision for a lighting gantry, incorporated sound systems and acoustic ceilings in order to maximise the variety of uses from the point of view of musical entertainment. The plans were drawn up by Ballinrobe-based chartered architectural and planning consultant Donal McCormack.
The committee are grateful to all local elected representatives who have helped them to reach this stage and look forward to their continued support. A prospectus has been printed for the purpose of outlining the project in broad details, with particular emphasis on the demonstrated local need. In this prospectus, internationally acclaimed figures Moya Doherty and Brendan Graham have endorsed the project. The prospectus has already been circulated to key influencers at local, regional, and national levels. Anyone who would like a copy can obtain one by calling to Sli Nua Careers, Glebe Street, Ballinrobe. Anyone interested in actively participating on this major project should contact chairperson Michael Sweeney (087 ) 2588 615 or secretary Siobhan O’Malley (087 ) 207 2307.