A TENDER document for the design of the Shannon Venue, a project which is seeking to provide a multi-functional civic and arts venue for the town, is being issued this week.
Derek Barrett of Shannon Venue Ltd said that progress is being made. The tender document was issued last week and there’s around three weeks to submit a tender.
“We have retained someone to score the applications and we’ll pick a design team. Then they’d have a number of months. We’ve given an outline of the kind of things we want in it, the spaces we want and what we need,” he said.
A target of €7 million has been set for fundraising, which they claim is required to give Shannon the best possible facility.
By last November they had raised €700,000 from business sources and a sponsor a seat initiative was launched for the run up to Christmas, with seats available from €1,000. Nameplates carrying messages are to go on the back of the sponsored seats. By Tuesday of this week, their website said the funding had now reached €724,080.
Mr Barrett said that there had been quite a good response to the fundraiser over the last two months and there are plans to introduce another sponsorship initiative.
“It was solid enough and we’re going to introduce the same thing for buy a brick now. What we had to do was shift our focus away from fundraising for a few months so we could get the tender document piece together, so it was a professional document going out that would attract quality applicants. With that going out hopefully we can shift back to fundraising and come up with new ideas on that. We’d be looking for support from the county council and going back out to the corporates in the region to look for financial support.”
Their website outlines their vision for the facility, once complete. “We propose to deliver an iconic, debt-free, multifunctional civic and arts centre for Shannon. It’s an ambitious project but also a new opportunity for the town. When delivered we believe it will, in social and cultural terms, become a focal point for its residents, its employees, its industry and its visitors. It will give a renewed sense of place, purpose and community.”
It also states that a number of local groups, including Shannon Musical Society, Muse Drama Group, Shannon Gospel Choir, Eclipse Stage School, St Camins and St Patrick’s secondary schools, have all shown an interest in using the facility.
It is expected that when the Venue is completed it will be completely debt free, with multi-use facilities which can accommodate a number of different groups at the same time. Those involved also say that a “lean, cost focused model” will be operated.
It is expected that the Venue will have a theatre capable of holding in the region of 300 patrons along with a number of other rooms capable of hosting various sized groups.
The Shannon Venue Ltd, which is looking to develop the theatre, is a not for profit company which formed last year.