A MACROOM councillor is calling on Cork County Council to be ready to commence refurbishment works on the Briery Gap Theatre and Macroom Library, once funding is sanctioned under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF).
At a meeting of Macroom Blarney Municipal District last month, Cllr Gobnait Moynihan (FF) raised a motion looking for an updated report for funding for the theatre and library – which has been closed following a fire there in 2015 – under the RRDF Fund, as well as what preparatory works were being carried out.
Cllr Moynihan was told that the Council has recommenced design works for the refurbishment and upgrade of the building.
‘If this application for funding is successful, the Council needs to be ready to act straight away, be ready to start building and get the doors open as soon as possible,’ said Cllr Moynihan. ‘Macroom is at a huge loss without its cultural and educational hub in the middle of the town. It is important the Government finally recognises this and gives The Briery Gap the finance it badly needs under this fund. So far the Government has only made 6% of the overall cost of restoration available which is pretty dismal.’
Cork County Council submitted a Category 1 application to the Department of Rural & Community Development’s RRDF fund and it is anticipated that the Department will make a decision on the application in late November. It was reported that Cork County Council had recommenced design works for the refurbishment and upgrade of the theatre at the beginning of September, with a view to lodging a planning application this month. Members of the public will be able to participate in this planning process by commenting on the proposed design and making their views known.
The RRDF was established to support the revitalisation of rural communities, to make a significant and sustainable impact on them and to address de-population in small rural towns, village and rural areas.