The AGM took place for Ballinasloe Town Hall Theatre, highlighting the many achievements over the past year. The new committee were elected to serve were Máire Hughes, Frances Leahy, Aoife Vaughan, Alan Harney, Elaine O’Hanlon, Mary Barber, Ben Parker, Noel Lohan & Alison Greene.
Gerry Sweeney, who has been a member of the Committee and Director of the Company to the Building since its formation, stepped down. He was the last serving original member of the original group that acquired the lease from the Church Authorities which has 23 years left to run.
Chair noted his experience and expertise will be greatly missed. His wealth of knowledge on the history of the Hall is second to none, and all congratulated him on his service.
Máire Hughes detailed all of the incredible work undertaken by the Committee over the course of the year: 17 official meetings were held, fundraising events took place, grant aid was secured, much was achieved within the Hall. The Theatre was host to many productions, dance classes, cinema screenings, recordings and various rehearsals throughout the year, culminating with the very successful PANTO “Cinderella” production last December.
Much work went into the clearing and refurbishment of office spaces to the front of the building with particular gratitude being paid to Gerry Maloney and members of the CE Scheme for their involvement. This reorganisation allowed the group to rent office space from July to December. There are still several rooms available for short- and medium-term rental and anyone interested can contact Michael McCullagh at (090) 964 9939.
Accountant James Coyle gave a detailed overview of the Theatre’s finances, detailing all income and expenditure. He highlighted that the figures shared covered the accounting year March 2021 to March 2022, resulting in a net surplus of over €9k which was up from a deficit of €4k for the previous 12 months. He emphasised the finances were in a good position showing income at €50,249 and Expenses at €38,909 considering that the Theatre was restricted with the pandemic.
The Community Centres Investment Fund application was successful just before Christmas, and the Theatre is to be awarded a total of €251,900 in funding. Earmarked to replace all existing windows with double glazed sash windows, replace the doors and repair a portion of the stonework. In addition a portion of this grant will be used to update the Theatre’s lighting system to modern LEDs. The Committee confirmed that a Project Manager would be engaged to oversee this huge investment in the future fabric of the building – as it is the largest successful grant ever awarded to the ongoing development.
As part of a matched funding element to this grant, they will be launching their “Buy a Pane of Glass” campaign in the coming weeks to raise the necessary finances. - keep an eye out for this and consider donating.
Sympathies were expressed at the meeting to the families of the late Clare Curley and Eugene Ward – who were stalwart supporters of the Theatre.
“We’d like to thanks the townspeople who continue to support us, Linda Cummins and Tus, Patricia Kelly and Karyn Gavin in GRD, Mary Mc Gann and indeed Sharon Duffy Arts Officer at Galway County Council, as well all of our wonderful hard working volunteers “, concluded Máire.
If you would like to become involved with the Theatre, they can be contacted via the Ballinasloe Town Hall Theatre Facebook and Instagram accounts, or by emailing email@example.com.
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