At a recent meeting with Solas Galway Picture Palace Teo, city councillors were told that building works are now “in full swing” at the Merchants Road site and scheduled for completion next year.
Lengthy excavation on the granite lined basement of the new building has now been completed, and installation of the basement walls is due to start next week.
Work on the overall building is planned for completion by May 2013. It is also hoped that by May the removal of scaffolding and hoarding and the re-instatement of the road and footpath will also be completed. Interior finishes and fitting are due to be completed by autumn next year with the hope of a winter opening.
Solas has secured funding for the building of the project but has fallen €1.1 million short, which the group says it is committed to raising.
The voluntary board of the Arthouse cinema says it has undertaken a number of fund-raising initiatives both locally and nationally through Galway business and cultural institutes, third level institutions, arts organisations, and with the general public.
Labour city councillor Niall McNelis welcomed the news. “The crane at the site is a welcome addition to the city skyline and is a symbol of energy and belief in the middle of a recession,” he said.
He said “we should do all we can to get the project finished and to assist in fundraising promotion,” adding that a Fáilte Ireland report “shows that visitors want more attractions to visit, when finished this will be a major asset for the city”.