The announcement was made in Dublin today (Wednesday, 27 January 2016) by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Mr. Alan Kelly, under the Capital Funding Programme for Public Libraries.
Clare County Council says the proposed new library building and the adjoining glór facility at The Causeway Link will combine as the Clare Cultural Centre.
The capital grant announced today is in addition to the €1 million in EU funding received last week from the Southern Regional Assembly’s Operational Programme 2014-2020.
Cllr James Breen, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, in welcoming today's announcement, said, "The development of a new County Library facility has long been sought after by the Council and its past and present Elected Members. This capital grant allocation effectively gives the green light for design work to begin on the facility."
"This is a landmark day for the delivery of cultural services in County Clare and I look forward to seeing this project progressing. It is very fitting that this announcement takes place in a year that sees Ennis hosting Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann and Clare County Council's leading of a yearlong programme that promotes Clare as a County of Culture," added the Cathaoirleach.
Tom Coughlan, Chief Executive of Clare County Council said the proposed €8.5 million County Library will locate three separate library services together in one building "with a focus on community cohesion, cultural integration and support to the economic and social activity of the town."
Mr Coughlan explained, "The Council will now seek to fund the balance of €4.5 million of the overall cost of the project from its own resources which underlines the Council’s ongoing commitment to provide improved facilities and infrastructure. A design team has been appointed to progress the design and planning phases of the project, while the Council anticipates that contractors will be on site by early 2017. The construction period is expected to take approximately 18 months."