NUI Galway given go-ahead for new drama centre

NUI Galway has been granted conditional permission by Galway City Council for a new centre for drama, theatre and performance.

The city council made the decision on August 15 to grant permission for the centre with nine conditions attached. The centre will be built at the former IMI building at the Newcastle campus.

The former Irish Metal Industries building at NUI Galway is a protected structure which dates back to the 1850s. Initially a bleach and flax mill the building went on to be used as a bonded warehouse and a factory to make canon shells during World War I. NUI Galway took over the building at Earls Island in 1987 and it currently houses storage for the students’ union bar, the Bank of Ireland Theatre and the Marine Science department.

The conditional planning permission was granted for the development of the protected strucutre into a 120-seat auditoriam with rehearsal space, workshop, seminar room, administration, new stairway, and new rooflights. In addition, the works will allow for the creation of new openings in existing walls, alterations of the existing roof, external paving, landscaping, external lighting, and signage.

Nine conditions have been attached to the development including the stipulation to submit to for agreement of Galway City Council proposals for an installation/information piece detailing the history of the building and of its special scientific and industrial interest. All works must also be monitoried by a conversion architect and a photographic record of any industrial and scientific features must be supplied to the council before they are removed. Work on the new drama centre must also cease if previously unrecorded archaeological material is discovered until a decision is made on how to deal with it.

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