Councillors defer decision on future of Ballina Men's Shed at old Astoria Cinema

Councillors in Ballina this week deferred a decision to extend a lease on a building being used by the Men’s Shed in the town.

The group currently uses the former Astoria Cinema as its base, and there was a motion presented by Fine Gael councillor John O'Hara at Wednesday's meeting to extend that lease by five years.

The Men’s Shed, which had five representatives in the council chamber, says it will find it difficult to secure funding for projects if it does not have the certainty of an extended lease.

Senior executive officer with Ballina Municipal District, Marie Crowley, told the meeting that while there was nobody interested in buying the building at this moment, there was potential for development in that area, and because of that she advised the councillors not to proceed with a five year lease but instead commit to continuing the current caretaker arrangement which is in place.

It was agreed that councillors would meet representatives of the Men’s Shed to try to agree a clause that could be inserted in any agreement in relation to the building.

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