Today marks an ‘historic moment in time’ for Ballinrobe with the news that the campaign to convert a local hotel and entertainment complex into a new town hall has received almost €4.6m in Government funding.

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

Ballinrobe Town Hall committee, who purchased the Valkenburg complex on the town’s Main Street in 2020 with money raised locally, have reacted with joy to the funding news under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF). The announcement was made jointly by Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys and local TD, Michael Ring, a long-time supporter of the project.

“This is the day we’ve wanted for so long. It is an historic moment in time. We have worked extremely hard for many years to reach this day, and we are over the moon,” said chairperson Michael Sweeney.

More, including the community support video shot during the summer HERE

“In tandem with South West Mayo Development Company (SWMDC), we applied for €4,594,600, and we are delighted to say we got every last cent of that. We will match the grant amount with local funding to convert the venue into something that will transform the centre of the town and prove an invaluable asset for the region.

“Our long-term plan includes the development of a multi-purpose space with ample dressing rooms to support shows, along with community and other events throughout the complex. In our RRDF application, we highlighted the building’s central location in the town; extensive car parking space on the street and in adjacent car parks (Church Lane, Christian Brothers and Abbey Street); and the potential for income from accommodation and a coffee shop/bistro in the venue.”

Listen to Mid West Radio coverage of the news at the bottom of this page

The committee paid tribute to Sabina Trench, Norita Clesham and the staff of South West Mayo Development Company, who led the RRDF application. “They have done huge work and the success of this application reflects that,” added Michael.

“We are grateful to all who have supported the project in a variety of ways, including the strong political support we received. From the outset, local representatives were very supportive of the project and recognised its potential to transform Ballinrobe town centre as well as providing a badly needed local amenity.”

Paul Gibbons, Chairperson, South Mayo Development Company, commented: “South West Mayo Development Company applied for this funding on behalf of Ballinrobe Civic Arts & Amenity Company. Our team worked with Michael Sweeney Chairperson and his voluntary Board to prepare this successful application. I would like to publicly acknowledge Cllr Michael Burke and Deputy Michael Ring’s support which was instrumental in securing this funding for Ballinrobe. I would also like to thank Mayo County Council for supporting our application, which was most welcome.”

More, including the community support video shot during the summer HERE

Ballinrobe has fought a lengthy campaign to restore its town hall. The old hall closed in 1996.

“As everyone locally knows, we had originally intended to build on the site of the old town hall on The Neale Road, but building costs were proving very expensive. The Valkenburg came on the market in July 2020, and we decided to pursue this as a possible venue for the new hall,” added Micheal.

“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 acquire and maintain the property to date and also on associated fees.”

Anyone interested in supporting this major project should contact Chairperson Michael Sweeney (087 2588 615) or Secretary Siobhan O’Malley (087 207 2307).

Directors: Chairperson Michael Sweeney, Secretary Siobhan O’Malley, Treasurer Sean O’Connell, PRO Liam Horan, Cllr Michael Burke (Vice-chairperson), Margot O’Shea, Sheena Duddy and Des May.

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