Clare County Council’s €250,000 annual grant to the Glór should not become a financial “crutch to lean on” over the coming years, a local councillor has warned.
The comment was made as councillors agreed to extend the five-year lease for the use of the building to 15 years, for a nominal sum of €1, at a meeting this week.
Acknowledging the provision of an annual subsidy of €250,000 is an “ongoing cost”, chief executive officer Pat Dowling said the authority is looking at ways to make the facility more economically sustainable. He added that the authority would also be examining governance issues.
While Glór plays an important role in the cultural life of Clare, Mr Dowling stressed it is vital that the council ensure the facility is sustainable. He explained the lease is being extended to allow the facility, which has been in operation since 2001, to draw down extra funding.
Councillor Gerry Flynn said he was aware that Glór is struggling somewhat to stay afloat and welcomed any council-led initiative to strengthen governance over the coming years.
“I don’t want to see public money that could be used as a crutch to lean on, as it may have to be taken away. There is an onus on all of us to protect the public purse and make sure we are getting good value for money,” he said.
Councillor Flynn said the lease should include a provision to include the footprint of the new county library.
Glór interim director, Patricia Callaly, said the board of directors is in the process of drafting a strategic plan, in conjunction with the Arts Council, to chart its development over the next three years. It is expected this strategy will be complete in September.
Ms Callaly outlined efforts are being made to increase the amount of funding allocated through capital, European and other sources. Last year, Glór received about €110,000 from the Arts Council and it recently received a capital grant of €35,000 to improve equipment.
By Dan Danaher