I am writing to you regarding the Community Arts Centre in Tullamore. As you are aware, we have been waiting almost a decade for the Tullamore Community Arts Centre to be built. In 2011, there was a mass support from members of different community organisations, including our own and the general populous for an Arts centre which never materialised. Substantial donations were made in the hopes that Tullamore Musical Society and other organisations would find a permanent home.
Tullamore Musical Society has been a staple of entertainment and arts in Tullamore for the past sixty three years. However, since its inception we have been reliant on hotels, local centres, public houses and other venues to host not only our productions but our rehearsals. This is not a viable solution moving forward. We are finding it more and more difficult to put on our award winning productions every year. The costs we incur and our dependency on local support is not sustainable to keep Tullamore Musical Society at the forefront of creativity in Tullamore.
There is an incredible tradition of arts in Tullamore, I believe it is imperative that there be a hub for this creativity to be nurtured and celebrated. We have exported many successful performers to a national and international stage. This is something that we are very proud of. However, it is also proving more and more difficult to hold on to some of the exceptional talent in Tullamore as there is no place sufficient enough to showcase their talent.
We are the only county town in the country without a functional arts centre. This is not only disappointing but shameful. We are experiencing first hand the detrimental effects that this is having on local community arts groups. However, we are also seeing the level of support that exists in Tullamore for the arts from local business owners and the general public. It is their support alone that has kept us on the stage for sixty three years. During the economic hard times that hit this town badly, we were still supported locally. This says a lot about the love of arts in Tullamore and the support that would be given to a community arts centre. As I am sure you can understand, the dependancy on the generosity and kindness of local businesses is not a sustainable method in ensuring the future of Tullamore Musical Society.
I not only implore you but I demand it of you, as a public representative to ensure that adequate funding is given to the Tullamore Community Arts Centre. There is an outcry from the people of Tullamore especially voluntary organisations such as ourselves, that a percentage of the 3 million urban regeneration fund in which you have received is spent in ensuring Offaly’s county town has an arts centre. It was hoped that a figure in the region of 500,000 would be given in ensuring the commencement of the construction of the Tullamore Community Arts Centre. It is our understanding that other local midland towns are receiving a cultural quarters, despite already having a functional arts centre. The support of the Arts Centre has been unwavering since 2011, it is imperative that you see it through to the end. We need a home. We need your support. We need you to recognise the needs of your voters.
Tullamore Musical Society