The company that will run the new Westport Town Hall has been formally instituted and has held its first meeting.
Businessman Noel Kavanagh, who has chaired the hall steering committee up to now, was unanimously chosen to chair the company’s board of directors. The secretary of the board is barrister/solicitor James Ward and the treasurer is accountant Seán Moran. O’Malley and Company have been appointed as company auditors.
Other members of the board are Tony Varley, Rosaleen O’Malley, Cllr Peter Flynn, Fr Charlie McDonnell, Joe Beirne, Cllr Johnny O’Malley, Mel Kenny, Cllr Tereasa McGuire and Seán Staunton.
Tenders received to carry out the reconstruction work on the hall are currently being examined by the Quantity Surveyor and project consultants.
It had been hoped to complete the work for a sum in the region of €2 million, but The Mayo News understands that tenders received are substantially higher than this. Accordingly, construction plans have to be reviewed to see where savings can be made before a final decision is taken on the appointment of a contractor.
Company chairman, Noel Kavanagh, said that right from the start nothing had been easy about the project and many obstacles had been encountered and overcome.
“Prices quoted have been higher than expected and must be looked at again. However, I am confident that a compromise can be reached which will allow the project to advance and a contract to be signed.”
Mr Kavanagh paid tribute to all who had supported the fund-raising project to date. While some monies were still outstanding, he remained confident that the local contribution from businesses and households would eventually reach its target of one million euro. Pledges of major support had also been given from Westport Town Council, Mayo County Council, St Mary’s Parish, St Patrick’s Drama Group and a very generous contributor who wished to remain anonymous. He said he was also hopeful of receiving grant-aid from the South West Mayo (Leader) Development Company.
“I remain confident that 2012 will be the year in which the old Westport Town Hall is replaced with a state-of-the-art arts and cultural centre with a strong emphasis on the performing arts” he said.