The drive to provide Ballinrobe with a new Town Hall has taken a major step forward with the publication of a tender document for a consultant Project Manager who will oversee the development programme.

South West Mayo Development Company (SWMDC) and Ballinrobe Civic, Arts & Amenity Company (BCAAC) are collaborating to  transform the historic Valkenburg Hotel complex on the town’s Main Street into a vibrant and multifunctional community facility.

“This is the first of a  three-part tender process. It represents an exciting opportunity for the right person/company with the skills and expertise needed to kick-start this ambitious community project for the south and west Mayo area,” said Sabina Trench, CEO, SWMDC.

Picture above shows locals who turned out for a video to support our funding application.

The project received a resounding vote of confidence in April 2022 when SWMDC, in partnership with BCAAC, secured a grant of €4.87m million from the Department of Rural and Community Development under the Rural Regeneration Development Fund (RRDF). Additional public funding of €750,000 has been contributed by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport, and Media.

“The Town Hall project holds immense promise for the south and west Mayo area, as it will offer a dynamic space for cultural engagement, community gatherings and artistic endeavours. The initiative will repurpose the historic Valkenburg Hotel into a state-of-the-art facility encompassing a range of amenities, including catering facilities, meeting rooms and a spacious hall capable of accommodating up to 300 people,” said Michael Sweeney, Chairperson, BCAAC.

“In our RRDF application, we highlighted the building’s central location in the town and extensive car parking space on the street and in adjacent car parks (Church Lane, Christian Brothers and Abbey Street).”

The call for a Project Manager has been published on the eTenders platform. The successful candidate will ensure the Ballinrobe Community Arts and Amenity Centre becomes a reality. The deadline for submissions is set for September 22, 2023, at 12 noon and the tendering document can be viewed here:

The anticipated milestones for the project are as follows:

  • October 2023: Selection of Project Manager;
  • May 2024: Tender for contractors;
  • Summer 2024: Commencement of project, with completion during 2025.

“The recruitment of a project manager will accelerate the necessary steps to issuing contract tenders. These timelines are our best estimate at this moment in time but with any major project of this nature, they are dependent on many factors. The good news though is that we now have a clear pathway leading to the restoration of a town hall for Ballinrobe,” added Michael.

“We have received €200,000 from Mayo County Council. Additionally, we have collected €400,000 in community donations locally. Money raised to date has been used to purchase and maintain the property to date and also on associated fees,” added Michael.

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