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Limerick offers new subsidised homes to artists

The project from the Limerick Arts Officel will see selected artists moving into six apartments in John’s Square in the city’s cultural quarter.

ARTISTS’ SALARIES CAN be very modest, particularly when they are trying to make a name for themselves with their craft.

So Limerick’s Arts Office has stepped in with a new idea that will enable artists from all media to apply for a new scheme that would see them being provided with subsidised housing.

The selected artists would live in one of six newly-refurbished residential apartments at John’s Square in the city, an area which was reopened to the public earlier this year following a €1.5million redevelopment by Limerick City Council.

As part of the move to John’s Square, which is known as ‘Limerick’s living cultural quarter’, this new scheme forms part of the city council’s strategy to further enhance and develop the growth in cultural infrastructure in Limerick.

Sheila Deegan, Arts Officer in Limerick, said that in turn this helps to support the local cultural economy. She added:

Potential residents include recent graduates who are contributing to the arts in the region through projects and activities associated with the Creative Limerick spaces and the possibility of attracting mid-career artists back to Limerick for a time, by offering this residential support.

She added the initiative also provides a further infrastructural support for Limerick National City of Culture 2014.

Deegan said the apartments “provide subsidised living spaces in recognition that artists and many individuals working in the arts are on modest income levels”.

John’s Square is Limerick’s oldest public space and a gateway to the centre of the City.

As a new pedestrian-friendly space, it also acts as a venue for performances and events, and is surrounded by historical buildings including St John’s Cathedral, St John’s Hospital and the limestone townhouses.

The cost of the apartments – called a ‘licence charge’ – has been set at:

  • Apartment 6:  €220 per month exclusive
  • Apartment 7:  €220 per month exclusive
  • Apartment 1: €230 per month exclusive
  • Apartment 5: €230 per month exclusive
  • Apartment 4:  €250 per month exclusive
  • Apartment 8:  €250 per month exclusive

The apartments will be licensed for between one and three years, and occupancy of more than one year is subject to review at the discretion of the council.

Two of the apartments are potentially suitable for dual occupancy and four of the apartments are single occupancy only.

Priority is given to recognised, professional cultural practitioners working in the arts at the lower end of income levels. People in full time permanent employment (save where on extended leave) and undergraduate and MA students will not be considered for occupancy.

Details relating to the scheme, as well as eligibility and selection criteria are available from www.limerickcity.ie. Applications must be submitted to artsoffice@limerickcity.ie. For more, contact the Limerick City Arts Office at Phone: 061 407421, 407363.

The Residential Artists’ Apartments Scheme is supported by Limerick City Council, the Department of Arts, Heritage, the Gaeltacht Access II Scheme and the Arts Council.

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