BALTINGLASS has been selected among the twelve places chosen by the Arts Council as part of the expanded national Creative Places programme.
The west Wicklow town will now benefit from an investment programme to develop and sustain new creative opportunities for all age groups.
The successful application was led by Wicklow County Council in partnership with local community development organisations in Baltinglass and west Wicklow. The opportunity was open to places which had not benefitted from sustained arts investment in the past and Baltinglass will receive €375,000. It will build upon existing cultural strengths in the town to create a new momentum which will ensure more people in the town can choose, take part in and benefit from arts experiences.
Director of the Arts Council, Maureen Kennelly said: “We are delighted to be awarding Creative Places Baltinglass; it is not a place where we have not been able to invest before and it is very important to us that public investment in the arts reaches and benefits more people in a sustained and meaningful way. We are very excited to see how the people of Baltinglass will respond to what matters to them most, and we look forward to working further with the community and Wicklow County Council.”
Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council Shay Cullen said: “The community of Baltinglass is extremely excited to have received this investment through the Arts Council’s Creative Places programme. The amount of investment is unprecedented and will be really well received. The application was well supported by the community and voluntary sector from the area who will now work collaboratively with Wicklow County Council and the agencies to ensure the initiative will have maximum impact.”
To keep in touch with how the project develops, the programme will be managed by Wicklow Arts Office.
Former Fine Gael TD and Baltinglass resident Billy Timmins also welcomed the funding, which is the first of its kinds for Baltinglass.
He said: “Baltinglass is one of the few areas in the country to be selected nationally for Creative Spaces, and we really haven’t had any arts funding in Baltinglass in the past. It’s important that the arts can prove hugely beneficial for both individuals and groups, so whoever takes up the position to coordinate the arts must ensure the funding is spent in a positive and pro-active manner.”