By Dan Walsh
The scaffolding is rising, and work crews are on site as changes to the Covid-19 restrictions on the construction industry are lifted for the €2.5 million extension at Wexford Arts Centre.
The project has been financially supported with a €1 million grant from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, with Wexford County Council providing the balance of funding.
In addition to some upgrade works to the existing building, a new part two/part three storey extension will be installed at the side of the existing structure. The new building will include a new reception area, new gallery space, a lift, improved and accessible toilet facilities, improved welfare facilities for staff and visiting artists and outdoor seating and landscaping. It was central to the project to retain the original fabric of the iconic structure, while discreetly introducing a state-of-the-art extension to co-exist alongside it.
The original building, constructed in 1775, forms an integral part of the fabric of Wexford Town. Nestled alongside the original town walls in the heart of the town it has been home to Wexford Arts Centre since 1974.
“I believe that the extension and upgrading will come as a welcome addition to the cultural offering of Wexford Town. Arts venues and performers have been some of the hardest hit over the past 14 months and so I was delighted to be there today turning the sod on this state-of-the-art facility. It is welcome news to artists and audiences alike,” said Mayor of Wexford Cllr Leonard Kelly.
It is estimated that the works will take 13 months to complete.