Southern Star Ltd. logo

Dunmanway’s Le Chéile Arts a shining example of Creative Start-Up Scheme

March 14th, 2024 12:09 PM

By Martin Claffey

Dunmanway’s Le Chéile Arts a shining example of Creative Start-Up Scheme Image
Funding from the Creative Start-Up Scheme from Cork County Council helped Cecilia Scholte Lubberink to open Le Cheile Arts in Dunmanway.

Share this article

THE owner of a thriving arts and craft shop and workshop space in Dunmanway is encouraging creatives in West Cork to get involved with Cork County Council’s Creative Start-Up Scheme.

The deadline for Cork County Council’s Creative Start-Up Scheme is Friday March 15th with grants of up to €3,000 available.

Cecilia Scholte Lubberink opened Le Cheile Arts in Dunmanway, a bustling crafts shop and fine arts gallery with help from the scheme.

‘The Creative Start-Up Scheme allowed me to open in Dunmanway. Without it, I wouldn’t be here,’ she told The Southern Star.

Cecelia first opened up a pop-up shop in her home town in an old pharmacy building back in November 2022, turning it into an arts and crafts shop. The pop-up shop closed that Christmas but the success of it pushed Cecelia to open a more permanent space.

She opened Le Cheile Dunmanway in March 2023 and set up a workshop space upstairs with workshops of all kinds from felting to wood turning to knitting.

There are workshops for kids and for children, with other artists coming in to use the space for workshops.

Downstairs, Le Cheile specialises in selling local art. ‘I sell all sorts of arts and crafts but I have a boundary: everything I sell must be produced in the county,’ said Cecelia, who is herself an artist and a graduate of fine art. Cecelia also previously worked as a signmaker in Skibbereen.

Cecelia received funding from the Creative Start-up Scheme in 2022 and 2023.

The aim of the Creative Start-up Scheme is to support artists, designers, and craftspeople to establish retail spaces in which to sell their work.

The scheme is funded by Creative Ireland, the national culture and wellbeing programme that looks to use creativity to inspire and connect communities.

Cork County Council are accepting proposals that may be for the development of temporary or seasonal popup shops in vacant retail units. The scheme may also support proposals from small retailers who wish to expand the number of artists or makers they currently show or extend the space they currently occupy.

The positives of the scheme are twofold, with creative spaces opening up, while supporting Cork County Council’s efforts to revitalise commercial centres in towns and villages.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate the support of the property owner and show why their proposal is needed or will benefit the area, while adversely impacting on similar businesses locally.

All proposed projects must start by November 1st.

‘Over the past four years the scheme has supported the establishment of several creative retail spaces including Blackwater Vally Makers in Fermoy, Owenabue Artist Collective in Carrigaline, Le Cheile Arts in Dunmanway and Orla O’Visual in Mallow,’ said Cork Mayor Frank O’Flynn.

‘Creative businesses have the potential to breathe new life into our towns and villages, to establish them as destinations, and set them apart with individuality, and this scheme makes it financially viable for aspiring creative entrepreneurs to start up.

Share this article