Views sought on ‘future use’ of former Belltable theatre

Arts officer Sheila Deegan
THE arts community in Limerick and the wider public are being invited to have their say on the future development and use of the building at 69 O’Connell Street.

THE arts community in Limerick and the wider public are being invited to have their say on the future development and use of the building at 69 O’Connell Street.

Limerick City Council has initiated a public consultation process aimed at guiding the development of a new model of a centrally located multidisciplinary Arts and Culture Hub at 69 O’Connell Street, which was formerly home to the Belltable.

In September 2013, 69 O’Connell Street was reopened through the Limerick Arts Encounter Programme, in partnership with the Arts Council, the Lime Tree Theatre and Limerick Arts Office.

A very successful programme of activity took place and will continue through 2014 as part of Limerick, City of Culture.

“The provision of this theatre space has been an important development in arts provision for audiences and artists in the city and county,” said Louise Donlon, director of the Lime Tree Theatre, who administered the programme, and which has received further funding to continue into next year.

“Through an exciting and diverse programme, we have welcomed back audiences for theatre, film, music, literature and the visual arts to 69 O’Connell Street and other venues around the city,” she added.

Limerick City Council said the aim of the public consultation is “to identify the best approach in developing and sustaining a vibrant organisation which is a part of the cultural infrastructure of Limerick city and county”.

As part of the process, the public are being asked to contribute ideas on the future potential of the building by completing a special questionnaire, which is available from 69 O’Connell Street, or online.

Limerick Arts Officer, Sheila Deegan said “old buildings require new uses, not just physically but also philosophically”.

“The way art and artists are funded has changed in recent years as has the way audiences engage with work. With this in mind we look forward to a new way of thinking around the future of 69 O’Connell Street,” she explained.