Arts Centre group set to call for board resignations

Story by Olga Aughey

Thursday, 18th April, 2019 3:18pm

Arts Centre group set to call for board resignations

Action Group for Tullamore Arts Centre at a recent protest

The Action Group for a Tullamore Community Arts Centre have welcomed the opportunity to attend a meeting with the CEO of Offaly County Council and the board, but say they will call for resignations of board members who are not actively advocating to secure an arts centre for Tullamore.

The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 25 but spokesperson for the action group, Ann Lawlor, has sent out a clear warning in a statement released to the Offaly Independent, advising board members "that are not actively advocating for the Arts Centre", to "tender their resignations immediately".

Representatives from the group have been invited to attend a briefing called by Offaly County Council chief executive, Ms Anna Marie Delaney with Tullamore Municipal District members and Tullamore Community Arts Centre (TCAC) Ltd members.

The aim of the meeting is to discuss the up-to-date position of the arts centre.

This will be the first time that Ms Delaney has communicated with the Action Group, councillors and TCAC Ltd members simultaneously.

"It is now time for Offaly County Council to communicate transparently on the arts centre and the financial commitment that is required of them, in order to draw down the €2 million ringfenced by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht," said Ann Lawlor, a spokesperson for the Action Group.

"We look forward to finding out what timeframe for the development, whether the project will be developed in two phases, and what the Board of TCAC Ltd are actively doing to secure the remaining funds, such as ensuring that an Urban Renewal Development Fund application will be made under the current round of funding," Ms Lawlor continued.
"The Action Group is not aware, as yet, of any financial commitment by Offaly County Council to the annual running costs of the Arts Centre. But we are hoping that this figure will be announced at the upcoming meeting and would expect it to be at the same level as that which Westmeath and Laois County Councils invest in their arts centres, in the region of €120k annually."

"All board members must be solution focused in terms of sourcing and securing the remaining funding. This project does not have the luxury of allowing elected members to sit on the board for a further ten years and still not deliver this project," argued Ms Lawlor, pointing out the deadline for drawing down the ringfenced €2 million is December 2020. She stressed that the board need to act now to ensure the deadline is not missed.

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