€3.5 million is to be provided towards the development of a new city library and cultural centre for Galway city, which will include a visual arts space, performance area, and conference space.
The entire project is expected to cost in the region of €25 million, and that money will need to come from a variety of sources, such as further capital funding. The initial €3.5 million, secured from the European Regional Development Fund through the Department of the Environment and the North and Western Regional Assembly, is to allow the project to move forward to detailed planning. A preliminary site on the Dyke Road has been identified as a possible location.
Calls for the development of such a centre for the city have been on-going over the past 10/15 years, but this is the first time substantial movement has been made. Labour Galway West TD, welcoming the funds, said the creation of such a centre would "add enormously to Galway’s cultural offering" and provide facilities that are "sorely missing from Galway and have stopped us from attracting key artistic talent and programmes".
"It has the potential to be Galway’s most significant cultural and public asset," he said, "while also generating significant economic activity for the city."
Dep Nolan praised the Galway City Council chief executive Brendan McGrath and his team in City Hall for "developing and pursuing this ambitious project". The TD also believes the proposed new centre will "add hugely to Galway’s bid to become the European Capital of Culture in 2020".