1 July 2021
By Tom Collins
‘Historic day’ as Crawford Art Gallery transfers from Cork Education and Training Board to the OPW – ‘Major milestone’ as the Gallery is set to begin capital refurbishment programme
The transfer of the Crawford Art Gallery from the auspices of Cork Education and Training Board to the Office of Public Works concluded this morning (1st July) following the signing of Statutory Instrument S.I. No. 306/2021 and Vesting Order S.I. 307/2021.
The completion of the transfer has been described as “a major milestone” for the Gallery in terms of their capital programme planning.
Chairperson of Crawford Art Gallery Rose McHugh welcomed the completion of the transfer as it supports Crawford Art Gallery in progressing its capital works and projects.
She also acknowledged the extraordinary work of the Cork ETB, in particular Suzanne Mullins, Director of Organisation Support and Development, who led out on this process.
She said: “Crawford Art Gallery acknowledges the great relationship it has had with Cork ETB and we also acknowledge that the city and State owes them a depth of gratitude for holding the building in trust and supporting the Gallery throughout the years.
“Crawford is now excited about the next phase of its development as a National Cultural Institution embarking on major capital renewal works and in its collaborative relationship with the OPW.”
Crawford Art Gallery is now about to embark on a €28m refurbishment and renewal of the buildings at Emmett Place in the city.
This once-in-a-generation opportunity will address issues of conservation, accessibility, connectivity between floors and spaces, access and result in more spaces being open to the public as well as renewed storage areas for the national collection and enhanced learning and exploring facilities.
This state investment in Crawford Art Gallery through Project 2040 will enable Crawford to build on its position as a significant city centre cultural destination in Cork.
Suzanne Mullins who oversaw the transfer of the Crawford Gallery building to the Office of Public Works said today’s completion of the transfer was a milestone which will enable the Crawford Art Gallery CLG to continue to progress its major capital works programme.
She added: “Cork Education and Training Board is very proud of its association with the Crawford Art Gallery and while it is always sad to lose a piece of family, it is the right step for the growth of the Crawford as it embarks on a new chapter of its development as a National Cultural Institution. It has been an honour to be involved with Crawford Art Gallery for such a significant period of time – we even had the pleasure of calling the building home for many years when our head office was located there.”
She also acknowledged the great work of the Crawford Art Gallery over the years and added that she was confident that the invaluable relationships established through this process would “continue long into the future.”
The Chief Executive of Cork Education and Training Board, Denis Leamy acknowledged the momentous occasion and has every confidence that although no longer connected with Crawford Art Gallery, through the collection, Cork ETB will continue to champion their work while fostering links with students from their Further Education and Training institutes, such as St. John’s Central College, Cork College ofCommerce and CSN College of Further Education.Minister for Education Norma Foley, T.D., said “It gives me enormous pleasure to sign the legislation to give effect to what will be a new chapter in the world of Art and Culture for Cork. I look forward to seeing how the Crawford Art Gallery will grow and develop in the future.