Green light for new €3.3m creative hub in Balbriggan

by Gazette Reporter
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Another key milestone in the ‘Our Balbriggan’ rejuvenation programme, which is set to transform the town with public investment of over €50m, has been reached with the granting of planning permission for a €3.3m creative hub.

Fingal County Council has approved plans for works at 2-4 Dublin Street, which are expected to be completed by mid-2025. 

Ensuring Balbriggan becomes a nationally renowned destination for arts and culture is a key part of the Our Balbriggan rejuvenation programme, and the creative hub will be central to this.

The vision for the listed building includes the development of creative art spaces with adjoining digital learning facilities, a courtyard and gallery. The project will now move to the design stage before the appointment of a contractor.

Welcoming the move, Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Adrian Henchy, said: “The creative hub is another key piece of the rejuvenation programme which will shape the development of Balbriggan and ensure it is regarded as a great place to live, work and do business.”

Under the Our Balbriggan rejuvenation programme, the council has made a number of strategic property acquisitions as well as completing preliminary works for the redevelopment of the Harbour as part of a massive urban regeneration project.

“Four years on from the launch of the Our Balbriggan rejuvenation programme 2019-2025, the bricks and mortar transformation of Ireland’s youngest town is now beginning to take shape,” said the chair of the Our Balbriggan Leadership Group, Professor Brian MacCraith.

“The ambitious vision contained in the rejuvenation plan was the result of an historic community engagement which saw more than 25 per cent of Balbriggan’s residents outline their preferences for the future of the town.”

Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, AnnMarie Farrelly, was pleased to note an important milestone in the Our Balbriggan rejuvenation programme.

“Fingal County Council is strongly committed to delivering the Our Balbriggan rejuvenation programme for the benefit of the people of the town. The creative hub is a key piece of the planned infrastructural development,” she said.

The move is complementary to Balbriggan’s designation by the Arts Council as a Creative Place. 

It is to receive Arts Council funding of €330,000 over three years, under the Creative Places programme, to provide local people access to the arts in their own community.

That funding was also secured by the Our Balbriggan rejuvenation programme, led by the Council’s Economic, Enterprise, Cultural and Tourism Department.

Ireland’s youngest town now plays host to a number of festivals and cultural events in partnership with the locally-based Irish Institute of Music and Song (IIMS) which is due to open a 400-seater state of the art concert venue.

Pictures: Fingal Co Co.

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