herald

Monday 26 September 2016

New group to guide cultural development of Temple Bar

A busker in Temple Bar
A busker in Temple Bar

A new steering group for Temple Bar has been set up to guide the area's cultural development in the absence of the scandal-wrought Temple Bar Cultural Trust (TBCT).

The dissolution of the TBCT has still not been completed, as legislation has not been finalised to allow the organisation to be wound up.

misspending

Gross misspending was uncovered during an audit of the TBCT in 2013 after concerns were raised about the governance of the organisation.

Unlawful loans to staff and abuse of company credit cards was also revealed during the audit process.

The council has since assumed all of the TBCT's functions and all legacy issues and debts have been resolved.

Funding of €1m has been ring-fenced to improve the area and a public improvement plan is currently being drawn up by an outside consultant.

Under the new regime a markets manager will manage the three markets at Meeting House Square, Cow's Lane and Temple Bar Square. Someone will also be hired through tender to look after the Umbrellas in Meeting House Square, which cost €2.7m and was 30pc over-budget.

Tasked

The new steering group has been tasked with the following:

• Developing a comprehensive history of the Temple Bar "project".

• Reviewing the value and sustainability of cultural organisations in the area.

• Study similar areas abroad for best practise examples.

• Consider how to create job opportunities.

• Put a special emphasis on the west end of Temple Bar.

• Consider how to better connect Temple Bar with other areas in the city centre.

Agreement has been reached with cultural agencies in the area that DCC will always be their landlord.

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