new cultural quarter for sligo

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      Paul Clerkin

      New civic space to boost tourism and drive success of area
      The Irish Times

      A multimillion euro cultural quarter is to be established in Sligo with the first phase to include a new €14 million museum and a €7 million extension to a local landmark centre for the arts, the Model Arts and Niland Gallery. The second phase, which is expected to cost €100 million, will see a civic space incorporating an outdoor amphitheatre constructed on an adjoining three-acre site along with retail and residential developments and 800 car parking spaces. The quarter will be linked to the city and the river through pedestrian walkways. Project director Bartley Gavin said work will start on the first phase in November with the new Sligo Museum and the extended Niland Gallery expected to open by autumn 2009. Planning permission was granted last year. “We expect the development of cultural facilities to be a driving force in the success of the city,” said Mr Gavin. He said the project was expected to boost Sligo’s reputation as a cultural tourism destination but was also designed to improve facilities for local people in a region steeped in archaeological treasures and culture.

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