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  • Southside

Ranelagh Arts Centre seeks a new home 

Wednesday, 5th September, 2018 8:46pm

Story by Tony McCullagh
Ranelagh Arts Centre seeks   a new home 

Screen legend Maureen O’Hara pictured at the Ranelagh Arts Festival in 2010.

Ranelagh Arts Centre seeks   a new home 

Screen legend Maureen O’Hara pictured at the Ranelagh Arts Festival in 2010.

RANELAGH Arts Centre is seeking new premises after being hit with a €60,000 rent demand.

The centre has operated from 26 Ranelagh since 2009 when the property went into NAMA. Since then, it has only had to pay a nominal rent but has spent a lot of money over the years on the upkeep and maintenance of the building and garden.

However, new owners are now seeking an annual rent of €60,000 which Ranelagh Arts Centre is unable to afford. As a result, the centre will close on October 8, leaving the organisation homeless.

A spokesperson for the centre stressed that while they would have to vacate their premises in the village, Ranelagh Arts would continue to operate, although its services would most likely be restricted. 

Regular activities run at the centre include exhibitions and classes in art, music, calligraphy, yoga, singing, acting, gardening and languages. It also hosts film events, music performances and book launches.

The centre’s yearly income is €30,000, which includes a grant of €10,000 from Dublin City Council towards the running of the annual Ranelagh Arts Festival. The centre has no paid staff and operates with workers under the Tús scheme, in addition to local volunteers and a very active board.

The closure of the centre will come just days after the 2018 Ranelagh Arts Festival, which will run from September 27 to October 6. Previous festivals have featured leading names such as Maureen O’Hara, Neil Jordan, Liam O Maonlai, Frank McGuinness, 
Donal Lunny and Ken Doherty.

Tony Strickland, chairman of Ranelagh Arts, said the closure of the centre would be an immense loss to the local community. He is appealing for people to contact them if they know of any available properties in the area.

In a statement to Southside People, the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan, said: “I am very aware of the issue regarding the provision of affordable studio and arts spaces, particularly as a result of the changing property market. My  Department has had discussions with the Arts Council, Dublin City Council and the OPW to consider some possible short-term and longer-term approaches to the issue, both in relation to specific issues in Dublin and to wider national approaches.”

Minister Madigan added: “In relation to the immediate needs of the Ranelagh Arts Centre, I would hope that Dublin City Council could give some practical local advice.”

If any of our readers know of available properties in the area, Ranelagh Arts Centre can be contacted on 01-5477775 or via email at ranelaghartscentre@gmail.com

 

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