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Wexford Arts Centre closing to allow for construction of €2.5m extension

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An image of how the Arts Centre will look when the work is completed.

An image of how the Arts Centre will look when the work is completed.

An image of how the Arts Centre will look when the work is completed.

wexfordpeople

The doors of Wexford Arts Centre, the longest running regional arts centre in Ireland which was established in 1974, are about to close, to allow the completion of an ongoing €2.5 million extension.

Situated in Wexford’s former Town Hall in Cornmarket, the centre has been operating as usual while undergoing a major upgrade to provide access for all with a lift to the upper floors, new toilet facilities, an additional mezzanine gallery space, dedicated studios, artist dressing rooms and much-needed storage.

But on March 12, the familiar red door of the Arts Centre will close  to facilitate break-through work into the main building.

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The administration of the centre will still operate from its annexe offices around the corner on John’s Gate Street but events and exhibitions will take place at other locations including Greenacres, the  Presentation Centre, Enniscorthy and Wexford County Council. D’Lush Café will also be closed during this time.

“Though our historical red doors are closing, we are very much looking forward to welcoming the Wexford community back through our new all access doors by end of summer. The new build will ensure access for all to all of our spaces”, said executive director Elizabeth Whyte.

The extension designed by ODKM architects involves renovation of the existing building along with a part two/part three storey extension to the side. The works are due to be completed by end of July with doors set to re-open in August, 2022.

Elizabeth said the spirit of the project is to restore the original fabric and introduce a  contemporary form to sit against the historic structure. “

“The old and new will sit side by side, the common thread being that of a simple balanced elegance in facade treatment across both styles.

“A new, welcoming accessible entrance is being created to re-orientate the access to the building to face both the public parkland to the side and also the historic town wall.”

The cost of the Arts Centre project is being shared between the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media which has grant-funded €1 million, with the remainder coming from Wexford County Council.

The work is being carried out by McKelan Construction of Macmine, Bree, County Wexford with Wexford County Council project-managing the contract.

 “This new build has been a long-time ambition for us all at Wexford Arts Centre. The venue will be significantly enhanced and will be an even more exciting asset for the Wexford community and for cultural tourism in Wexford”, said Elizabeth.

 “We are very thankful for the support from Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and in particular for the capital funding support and project management support from Wexford County Council.”

To find out more on Wexford Arts Centre’s activities and to support Wexford arts Centre visit www.wexfordartscentre.ie


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