Words: Ellen Kenny
The Odlums Flour Mill will offer 5,000 square metres of studios, performance spaces, rehearsal rooms for artists in the city.
The Arts Council and Dublin Port Company have announced that they are planning to turn the former Odlums Flour Mill into an “Artist Campus and Workspace”.
According to their statement, the space will provide artists studios, experimental performing and visual arts spaces, soundproofed rehearsal rooms, workshops, co-working spaces, and conference spaces across the 5,000 square metre mill. It has not been clarified whether artists will need to pay to use the space, and how much.
Dublin City Council previously conducted research on the provision of creative workspaces in Ireland and found that there are not enough spaces for the 2,500 creatives working in Dublin City. The creative community was hit by the loss of many spaces in recent years, including the closure of Richmond Road Studios.
To address the urgent need for more artists’ space in Dublin, the Arts Council and Dublin Port Company have been working together since early 2022 to create a new space in the 15-storey Odlums.
This development is part of the Art Council’s ten-year strategy Making Great Art Work, the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 and the Dublin Port Masterplan 2040. Grafton Architects will undertake a feasibility study on Odlums before development begins.
Director of the Arts Council Maureen Kennelly has said, “Dublin Port has shown a remarkable vision in its support for the arts in recent years, and today’s announcement is a further signal of their commitment to the development of a vibrant artistic community in our city.”
“The dynamic promotion of artistic expression in this historic and evolving part of the city and will have a profound and positive impact.”
Chair of the Arts Council Kevin Rafter said, “There are huge opportunities in Dublin and other areas around the country to develop new workspaces for artists to address a growing problem.”
“This is the start of a significant relationship to provide workspaces for artists in the old Flour Mill site in the port and will hopefully provide a model for other organisations to follow.”
Jerry Grant, Chairperson of Dublin Port Company, said, “We are delighted to be working with the Arts Council on this project which further highlights the importance of connecting Dublin Port to the City.”
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