Government funding allocated to redevelop Macroom theatre

Government funding allocated to redevelop Macroom theatre
The Briery Gap

A MACROOM-based theatre that closed three years ago after a fire is to receive a huge funding injection from the Government for its redevelopment.

The Briery Gap, which opened in 2000 and also houses a public library, closed in 2016 following a fire that extensively damaged the building. It had been the subject of an extensive refurbishment project only in 2013.

Agriculture Minister Michael Creed has announced that €2.6 million in funding has now been allocated which will make up a shortfall that was stalling the project.

The bill for the restoration of the 200-seater theatre had been estimated at €2.5m but more stringent building regulations imposed by the EU mean higher specifications drove driving the price closer to €4.5m. 

Cork County Council and the local board of management that run the theatre already have €2m in place through insurance payouts.

Mr Creed said: “There was tremendous sadness in the Macroom area in the immediate aftermath of the fire that severely damaged the Briery Gap theatre a number of years ago. Since then the staff and management committee of the theatre have worked tirelessly with Government and the Cork County Council to try and get the facility back on its feet again. 

“I am pleased to confirm the allocation of €2 million from the Department of Rural & Community Development under the Government’s Rural Regeneration & Development Fund. This is in addition to the recently confirmed €600,000 being made available from the Department of Arts Heritage & the Gaeltacht.

“This funding will now facilitate the significant upgrade works to the theatre. This news will come as a real boost to all associated with the Briery Gap and the wider community who truly value this important facility,” he added.

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