I am delighted to announce today a huge investment boost for Loughrea town.
An award of €1,628,879 from my Department, the Department of Rural and Community Development, will be targeted at major restoration and refurbishment of the Town Hall and measures to enhance Barrack Street.
This is a gamechanger for Loughrea and the Town Hall in particular.
I am delighted that the lion’s share of the funding for this approximately €2.2 million project is coming from my Department under the Rural Regeneration Fund.
Loughrea has huge potential and I have worked very closely with all the key stakeholders in the town who have been directly involved in preparing these very exciting development plans.
The Town Hall had fallen into disrepair since the late 1980s and had become an eyesore. It was acquired by Galway County Council in 2000 with planning approval granted in 2013.
Now it is to be transformed into a 158-seater theatre along with a multi-functional space for the arts, culture and community events, a tourism hub, a learning hub and a visual creation space.
There will also be a digital and creative enterprise hub on the first floor which will create 74 jobs within three years. The creation of 74 jobs will provide an economic dividend to the town of approximately €3.5 million with additional spending in the local economy.
Street enhancement of Barrack Street will include a new footpath, resurfacing and relining of the parking area, installation of new bollards and landscaping at the Potato Market area, Temperance Hall and the wider Barrack Street area.
I want to acknowledge the work of all the stakeholders in bringing the proposals to fruition and congratulate them on their achievement.
Galway County Council is the lead applicant for the project along with five other partners, including Loughrea Chamber of Commerce, Loughrea Arts, Recreation and Culture group, Naomh Brendáin Credit Union Ltd, Loughrea Tidy Towns and the Sustainable Energy West Committee.
The project is expected to delivered within the next two years.