THERE WERE celebrations as Cathaoirleach of Dundalk Town Council Jennifer Green officially opened Louth's creative community hub, Creative Spark, on Friday morning.
Louth Craftmark, which initiated the Creative Spark project, welcomed guests to the official opening of the building which was made possible with support and funding received from Enterprise Ireland, the International Fund for Ireland, Dundalk Credit Union, Dundalk Town Council, Louth County Enterprise Board, Oriel Developments, Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (Holistic & Concerto) and Create Louth.
Through its work with Louth County Enterprise Board, local practitioners and development agencies, Louth Craftmark recognised the need for a dedicated creative training and workspace facility in Dundalk and Co. Louth.
In consultation with the local authorities an ideal site was identified within the regeneration area of Muirhevnamor. Creative Spark now provides dedicated training and ' learning lab' facilities and affordable workspace with a focus on the development of the creative enterprise sector and the use of creative practice in this region.
The Creative Spark building houses 21 own door workspaces of varying size along with training and meeting facilities.
Speaking at the opening, Sarah Daly, Manager of Louth Craftmark Limited and Creative Spark, expressed delight at the realisation of the project, 'Creative Spark has the potential to provide a broad range of social benefits including opportunities to improve core skills, aid learning processes, raise confidence and self-esteem, promote community cohesiveness and identity, increase inclusiveness, and deliver economic value.
' Creative industries have the potential to impact upon local economies. This can be both directly by generating productivity and employment and more indirectly by stimulating the visitor economy and generating 'spillover' of ideas and knowledge.
'We are delighted that our supporters and funders have recognised the value of what we are trying to achieve with the new centre. We hope to improve the attraction of Dundalk and County Louth to retain graduates and encourage inward migration, particularly those seeking to run small, high value enterprises and to provide practical opportunities for those already unemployed or threatened with unemployment within the creative industries sector.'