Fianna Fáil Councillor Eamon Quinlan has confirmed that significant progress had been made on the delivery of two new Art Venues for Waterford City Centre.

Named Art House 1 & 2, both will be located on Thomas Street, just up from O’Connell Street, across the road from the well-known public house, Downes.

The Council acquired the buildings some years ago and are easily recognisable from the multi coloured artistic façade delivered by Waterford Walls.

“I originally approached our Housing Department who had purchased the buildings to gain the two ground floors for community/arts groups. They agreed. Following an inspection by our ambitious arts team, I was promptly dispatched back to try and get all the buildings,” said Cllr. Quinlan.

“While a section has been retained for apartments, we don’t want to repeat the mistakes of some counties and forget to build communities. This requires a certain percentage of what we buy to be given over to local groups to either get started or expand and placing more facilities at the feet of Waterford’s thriving arts, dance, music etc community is a great investment by the Council, especially as we made other purchases in the area so we are confident of meeting our housing targets.”

Cllr. Quinlan continued: “It is important to not just build ‘apartment-land’ but also to create space for people to mix, pursue interests and importantly, for children to follow their pursuits in a supervised, safe environment”.

The two ground floors are envisaged to be gallery or show rooms accessible to the public while the upper floors can be used for artists to work on their various projects / creations along with any needed office space. The project is being funded under the national Urban Regeneration and Development Fund.