OMAC, one of Ireland’s leading performing and visual arts spaces, welcomed MP David Hanson’s announcement of an £8 million cash commitment to a new arts centre to be located in the Cathedral Quarter. The total cost of the building is £9.232 million with contributions of £4 million from the Arts Council’s Lottery Fund and £4 million from Department of Culture Arts and Leisure. Laganside supported the proposal with land to OMAC at a value of £550K.
OMAC set itself a fundraising target of £1m.
The new Cathedral Quarter venue was to include a 300-400 seater and a 120-seater theatre, visual art galleries, dance studios, rehearsal spaces, education rooms, offices for the arts centre staff and resident arts groups as well as a bar and restaurant.
David Hanson MP, Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Belfast Councillor Alban McGuiness comment on N. Ireland’s record on arts support.
Anne McReynolds, Director of OMAC, comments on the challenge ahead to raise £1m in a highly competitive environment.
The MAC was eventually completed in February 2012. Designed by Belfast-based architectural practice Hackett Hall McKnight, it sits opposite St. Anne’s Cathedral. It cost considerably more to build and has had ongoing funding issues, which were not recognised within its economic appraisal prior to approval.