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An Grianán receives capital grant award

The exterior and plaza of An Grianán Theatre photographed in autumn 2015 by Paul McGuckin.

An Grianán Theatre recently received the excellent news that it is one of 11 arts and culture organisations to be awarded a capital grant from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Speaking today, An Grianán’s director, Patricia McBride explains how the grant of €290,299 will be used:

“We are delighted to receive this grant which signals a new chapter in the theatre’s life and we look forward to a positive future with the continued support of our customers, the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and Donegal County Council.

“These much needed works will replace, refurbish and enhance the existing theatre building which after over 20 years of active use is showing signs of wear and tear. This capital investment in the theatre building will deliver a fresh new space which is more energy efficient and better fit for purpose, improving the overall quality of front-line customer service.

“Importantly the work will allow us to offer better facilities for artists, members of the public and staff by providing a brand new studio space for artists and participative programming, improve access to the venue by incorporating best practice in the area of disability, have a positive impact on the environment by reducing the venue’s carbon footprint and implement essential health and safety and energy efficiency measures.”

The three main elements of the items to be added and refurbished through the Cultural Capital grant are:

A New Rehearsal/Creative Learning Studio

We will re-purpose space within the building to create a flexible new rehearsal and creative learning studio. This will provide much-needed additional capacity to support and develop a wide-ranging programme of participative arts activities. The studio will also be used occasionally as an intimate public performance space for small-scale readings and recitals.

Box Office Redesign

Redesign the box office to improve disability access and customer service. Ensure frontline customer facilities within the theatre are fully accessible to wheelchair users by redesigning the Box office/Reception area.

Implement energy efficiency and essential health and safety measures

Ensure compliance with health and safety and fire regulations, whilst also improving energy efficiency within the building, by implementing a number of essential measures, namely: insulation of the administrative office to improve working conditions for staff; replacement of four external doors with new and better insulated ones; and replacement of six existing fire doors within the building. Also, ensure the long term sustainability of the theatre, and achieve a significant reduction in its carbon footprint, by implementing vital energy efficiency measures, including: installation of PV panels on the theatre roof to reduce running costs and provide a renewable source of power; replacement of HVAC Controls; replacement of the Air Handling Unit in the auditorium; modifications to the ‘Back of House’ Air Handling Unit; fit Lighting Control Sensors on new LED lighting installations; and replace the existing oil boiler with a high efficiency gas boiler associated tank.

This funding is provided under Stream B of the Cultural Capital Scheme 2019-2022 that is part of an overall €4.7m capital investment scheme in the arts and culture infrastructure around the country.

The funding is being made available under the National Development Plan, Project Ireland 2040. Investing in our Culture, Language & Heritage 2018 – 2027 sets out the Government’s objectives for capital investment in Ireland’s culture, language and heritage. The Cultural Capital Scheme 2019-2022 will run until 2022 and will focus on enhancing the existing stock of arts and culture centres throughout the country.

In line with the Government’s action on climate change, this scheme prioritises projects that reduce an organisation’s carbon footprint that will make a real and positive impact on the environment. Projects that provide additional capacity for artists and artistic production particularly in arts centres will also be favoured. This new Scheme which has four separate streams of funding, builds on the success of the former Arts and Culture Capital Scheme 2016-2018.

Speaking about the funding, Catherine Martin, T.D., Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media said: “I am delighted to be in a position to award this funding today to these arts and culture organisations. This capital scheme prioritises projects that reduce an organisation’s carbon footprint. This is in line with the Government’s action on climate change and I’m delighted that the funding for some of these projects will make a real and positive impact on the environment. Projects that provide additional capacity for artists and artistic production particularly in arts centres were also favoured.

“This investment at a range of different facilities including arts centres, theatres, galleries, museums, as well as artists’ studios and creative spaces aims to improve the audience and creative experience while upgrading the facilities. This overall funding package will ensure past investment in these arts and cultural centres is protected and sustained.

“The funding being announced today is in addition to my earlier allocations of funding under this Scheme in December together with funding to visual artist workspaces and Stream D funding which is specifically for capital adaptations or equipment necessary to assist arts organisations in re-opening safely after COVID-19. Today’s announcement will bring the total awarded under this Scheme to date to almost €2.5m. Further funding under this Scheme will follow in due course. I wish these arts and culture facilities continued success in the future”.

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