The Model, one of Ireland’s leading contemporary arts centres, was today awarded funding of €2.4 million from the Border Midlands Western Regional Assembly. The funding is for The Model’s major redevelopent project which is currently underway, and due for completion at the end of this year.
Seamus Kealy, Director/Curator of The Model, spoke this afternoon of his appreciation at the announcement - "These funds are a radical boost to our local economy and for the future of Sligo. The monies will ensure that we can meet many of our operational goals to have one of Ireland's most unique and state-of-the-art cultural facilities. The Model will be the place to be in Ireland for all audiences."
The award recognises the vision of Sligo County Council in leading this important development for the Gateway City, and will reinforce The Model’s position as an iconic cultural centre and leading visitor attraction. This fund will help realise this ambitious project which, once completed, will place Sligo firmly on the national and international cultural map.
Chair of The Model Bernadette O’Shea also expressed her gratitude: “We are hugely appreciative of this funding from the BMW Regional Assembly, not only financially but also in the wonderful endorsement it gives to The Model project. This funding represents their support of a vision to invest in the economic, social and cultural development of Sligo through the provision of a world-class cultural facility and visitor attraction. We would continue to appeal to the local and national business community to match this investment in Sligo through the sponsorship of a named gallery, performance space or artists studio”
In the current economic climate, this announcement is sure to be a welcome one for the people of Sligo and the Arts and Cultural sector nationwide. It illustrates significant confidence in the project, and illuminates Sligo as a Gateway City, providing substantial investment in the region. It is estimated the award will contribute to the creation of an additional 23 construction jobs.
For The Model to receive such a significant award enhances and recognises the value of cultural investment and prioritises the development of Sligo as a modern, contemporary city.
The Model is currently undergoing a major redevelopment, with a reopening due in spring 2010. This redevelopment will increase The Model in size and operations by one third. Programming and operations will expand to include a full-time, international cinema programme, to include nine new artists studios (including a residential studio and a music rehearsal studio), to house a 250 seat, purpose built performance space, to include a destination restaurant, and to continue housing one of the country’s most significant art collections. Upon re-opening, The Model will further develop itself as a cultural hub for audiences from all walks of life by further implementing these programmes with expanded facilities.
The Model is distinctive in Ireland as a multi-disciplinary arts centre that is led by the contemporary visual arts, houses a major art collection of national importance, produces innovative contemporary music and film programmes - all of which are mediated through an integrated Education programme. The Model is recognised internationally for its standards of excellence.
The redevelopment of The Model has been spearheaded by Sligo County Council and funded in part by the departmet of Arts Sports and Tourism’s ACCESS funds (2007) and assisted most recently by a capital award of €600,000 from the Sligo Borough Council.
Works for The Model’s major redevelopment are to be completed in December 2009 with the re-opening planned for Spring 2010.To read more about the redevelopment please visit our website or our blog (search for redevelopment) http://sligomodelblog.wordpress.com
The BMW Fund is allocated from an advance payment of the EU Structural Funds to Ireland, representing a continuation of the Assembly’s commitment to the development of Sligo and other BMW Region’s Gateways and Hubs as designated under the National Spatial Strategy framework and prioritised in the BMW Regional Operational Programme 2007-2013.
The Border Midland and Western Regional Assembly was one of two Regional Assemblies established in 1999 by the Irish Government to give effect to the division of the country into two regions for Structural Funds purposes. For the 2007-13 funding period, the BMW region qualifies as a phasing-in region for Objective 2 funding (Regional Competitiveness and Employment Objective).
The total monies for this fund were €17 million and priority was given in the appraisal process to projects which have a strong economic development rationale with good job creation prospects, and which best encompass and demonstrate appropriate urban design, innovation, appropriate scale and cost effectiveness.