Bleak picture as funding crux hits city cinema planJune 22, 2012 - 7:15am
BY DARA BRADLEY
The jinxed arthouse cinema on Lower Merchants Road now appears doomed as the project managers do not have enough money to complete it.
The Galway City Tribune has learned that Solas, the company in charge of the cinema project, needs to find €1.1 million within the next week or else the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht will withdraw its pledge to grant a further €2.1 million to finish the building.
Solas has insisted, however, that it is on course to open next Autumn.
It is understood when Solas signed a contract with a developer to restart the project after the initial contractor, Cordil Construction, went bust, it did so without obtaining prior consent of the Department, and without having the required funding in place to complete the project.
It will default on its agreement with the developer, JJ Rhatigan & Co, and the entire enterprise will fail unless it comes up with funding before the end of June, according to Solas documents.
The project, first mooted as far back as 2007, has been blighted by delays. Initially there were concerns about possible structural damage to adjoining properties and in May of last year, the contractor, Cordil Construction, went into receivership.
In a briefing document seen by this newspaper, Chairperson of Solas, Lelia Doolan, admitted the company, which has charity status, has money to complete phase one, but “we do not currently have sufficient committed monies to complete phase two.”
Ms Doolan said Solas is now in a “Catch 22” situation because the Department “has informed us that we may not draw down the €2.1 million still available to us unless and until we have the full contract price of €4.1 million”. It is understood that in order to draw down the monies, it needs to find €1.1 million.
For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.