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Major capital investment for Cloughjordan amphitheatre

Friday, 10th August, 2018 9:36am
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Major capital investment for Cloughjordan amphitheatre

Artist's impression of the Cloughjordan amphitheatre stage with new canopy

Major capital investment for Cloughjordan amphitheatre

Artist's impression of the Cloughjordan amphitheatre stage with new canopy

The Cloughjordan Arts group have announced a €100,000 investment to complete the community amphitheatre in the Ecovillage.

A bespoke canopy will be installed over the stage area, and audience facilities will be developed. Extensive landscaping will also be undertaken.

The amphitheatre, which was formally opened by President Higgins in April last year, has hosted a range of small-scale music and drama events over the last 18 months. This investment will bring the audience and production facilities up to a professional standard.

€60,000 funding towards the installation of the canopy, which will provide weather protection over the stage, has been secured through North Tipperary Leader Partnership and a further €18,000 through Stream 3 of the Arts Capital Scheme to provide new audience facilities, including a refreshments kiosk. Clan Credo, the social investment fund, will provide bridging finance.

Commenting on the announcement Michael Canney, Chairperson of Cloughjordan Arts said:
“This is really great news for the town and will be a major boost to the vibrant local arts scene. The facilities will also be used by the scouts and the local soccer club. The new Bord Fáilte ‘Hidden Heartlands’ tourism initiative, which is very focused on outdoor activities, presents huge opportunities for us. The amphitheatre site is directly adjacent to the Beara Brefini walkway and this facility can become a major cultural landmark along the route.”

The project is led by a voluntary local committee and both the canopy and front-of-house were designed by Cloughjordan-based architect Caelan Bristow. Local builders Frank Murray & Sons from Birr are the main contractors. Work is expected to commence in the next few weeks.

The amphitheatre is located within the lands owned by the Ecovillage educational charity and will form part of a larger educational and recreational amenity area focused on biodiversity. A ‘Dark Sky Circle’, a part of the site set aside for stargazing and astronomical observation, has been awarded funding from the Tony Ryan Fund for Tipperary and work on that part of the site has already commenced.

The first public event planned is the annual Free Reed Gathering music weekend in late September. The Cloughjordan Arts group will spend the winter programming a full season of community and professional events for 2019.

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