Cork Civic Trust to hand Vision Centre back to City Council

27 February 2015
By David O’Sullivan
david@TheCork.ie

At the annual budget meeting for Cork City Council in late 2014 it was
revealed that the cash-strapped local authority was not in a position
to support the Cork Vision Centre on North Main Street to the extent
that it had in previous years.

The building – the former St Peters Church – is owned by Cork City
Council but its day-to-day operation and management was being handled
by the Cork Civic Trust .

Today Trust Chairman Michael Mulcahy confirmed that the Trust has
decided to hand over the operation and management of the Cork Vision
Centre at St. Peter’s to the Council at the end of the year.

The Centre, situated in the heart of historic Cork on North Main
Street, has been managed and programmed by Cork Civic Trust in
partnership with Cork City Council since it opened to the public on
July 1st 1998. Having completed 25 years of service to the city and
county, Cork Civic Trust is undertaking an in depth review of its
activities, so as to focus on its direction for the next 25 years. A
key element of its strategy is the re-invigoration of the Trust with
the purpose of making it more relevant to the civic life of the city
and county in the 21st century. Having had an innovative brief to
engage a consultant to deliver on the City Council’s Corporate Affairs
Directorate wish to re-imagine and deliver a new use for the Vision
Centre rejected, the Trust felt that the time was right to embark on a
new course.

VISITOR NUMBERS:

Cork Vision Centre @ St. Peter’s July 1998 – January 2015

* 807,523 visitors
* 257 exhibitions
* 1073 events
* 3,500 school visits
* 55 Ambassador visits
* 2 Presidential Visits
* 5 Prime Minister Visits
* 32 Ministerial Visits

Commented Trust Chief Executive, and Vision Centre Director, John X
Miller; “Managing the Vision Centre has been not only fascinating and
enjoyable but also a constant challenge to deliver a changing
exhibition and events programme on limited resources. Way back in
1998, our objective was to create a peoples’ gallery and visitor
centre where visitors would enjoy a welcoming experience regardless of
what was being showcased. Having increased annual visitor numbers from
an initial 11,000 to a consistent 65,000, I feel, through a
combination of extremely hard work by the Centre staff and an exciting
and fresh range of works of art, the Trust has certainly achieved
that. The Centre acts like the cultural lung of North Main Street, and
I wish Cork City Council a similar level of success in running the
Centre under whatever re-imagined use it identifies for the building”

Cork Civic Trust Chairperson, Michael Mulcahy – a well known magazine
publisher – also stated; “One of the
few constants in the increasingly busy lives we all lead is that of
change. Cork Civic Trust is no different, and, once we realised the
Trust needed a new strategy, the Trust, its Board and its staff
embraced the need for change. I look forward to leading the Trust into
an exciting period where we will refocus our energy and resources on
the civic aspects of civil society beyond 2015. I echo the sentiments
of the Trust Chief Executive in wishing the City Council every success
in delivering what I hope will be an innovative use for St. Peter’s,
and one which will continue the essential contribution that the Vision
Centre has made to North Main Street under the management of Cork
Civic Trust”

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