The Cultural Quarters: a space for everyone in Ballinamore

Are you bored at home, looking for something new? Something different? If you are in the Ballinamore area, there is no excuse why you have not checked out or checked into the new Cultural Quarters, a historic building in the town’s main street that is starting to make a big impression.

Are you bored at home, looking for something new? Something different?

If you are in the Ballinamore area, there is no excuse why you have not checked out or checked into the new Cultural Quarters, a historic building in the town’s main street that is starting to make a big impression.

If you are in the Ballinamore area, there is no excuse why you have not checked out or checked into the new Cultural Quarters, a historic building in the town’s main street that is starting to make a big impression.

The large, old, run down building and yard is hoping to breathe new life and inspiration into the town by gathering local people to restore and create a space for the entire community, for all communities to become the talking point of the town and to be something to be truly proud of.

Tracy Murray who was running Murray Vintage Shop and Tea Rooms and is the lady behind the town’s Free Fringe Festival is on a mission to make the Cultural Quarters a special part of Ballinamore.

The native Scot was running the Vintage business for over a year when she came to the conclusion that she could not continue. She went to the landlord and told him she would have to close the doors. But the generous landlord (who would prefer not to be named) decided that there were already one too many derelict buildings on the main street of Ballinamore and so offered the building RENT FREE to renovate and re-create.

Tracy knew an extraordinary opportunity when she received it and started to rally the troops (talented volunteers) to try and raise money and slowly bring life back to the important building.

“ want to save the building, to save the history,” Tracy told the paper as we walked through the large building. Work is being completed as per donations received.

And everything small or large is accepted, even if you don’t have a few euros to spare they are taking in paint, carpet, lamps or any other DIY resources, tools and failing all that give them a hand, lend your talent, skill, time or even your ideas - everything is welcomed and appreciated.

The Cultural Quarters already host: Italian Classes, Tai Chi, Quit Smoking sessions, meditation techniques, knit and crochet club and have information evenings by a local astronomy club. They have a vintage clothes shop, a antiques store and a very peaceful and colourful reading room - a place to read your paper or book and have a cup of tea! The events room upstairs is open to anything from music rehearsals to a group meeting - just a small donation suffices! The classes are getting great feedback without much publicity. They have also held a murder mystery event and are hoping to hold a Tea Dance for the over 50s this Summer as well as Kids Summer camps. Tracy said she wants the locals to get behind the project and save their building.

They are looking for more classes, whether you can teach it or you want to learn it - let them know! There is room for an artists studio and also a sewing room.

Tracy wants to open the building up as a museum which tells the story of the town, a focal point for tourists but also for locals to learn and develop. Tracy believes there are police cells underneath the building which she wants to open up to the public.

This is a chance to help save something and create something, to be a part of something special.

How do you get in contact: Drop into the Cultural Quarters, visit their blog at: http://theculturalquarters.blogspot.com, facebook, or call Tracy on 086 4082630.