Cllrs Anne Ferris and Erika Doyle have spoken of their relief that full funding will be awarded to the Mermaid Arts Centre following a joint appeal by the two Bray councillors to Wicklow County Council.
The arts centre funding was at risk due to a deficit in Wicklow County Council’s budget caused by Covid related reduced income and the lowering of the local property tax back to base rate. The budget had to be balanced, with a year on year deficit of €1.7 million and the arts centre funding was on the table as a ‘discretionary’ spend. Cathaoirleach of Bray Municipal District Cllr Anne Ferris and Mermaid Board Member Cllr Erika Doyle reminded the council executive of the value of the Mermaid, not only for Bray but as the arts centre for all of County Wicklow.
Councillor Anne Ferris said, “The Mermaid is one of the leading arts centres in the country and is a hugely valuable cultural hub in our town.
The centre is known not only for its performances but for the valuable outreach work that takes place. Aside from the wonderful cinema and theatre offerings, the gallery offers a valuable space for visual artists. We are incredibly lucky to have this centre on our doorstep and I know the people of Bray will support it once again when its doors reopen.”
Cllr Erika Doyle said, “The arts industry has been absolutely decimated by the pandemic.
Artists and associated staff are struggling to stay afloat at a time when the arts are needed more than ever. During Covid, we have all turned to music, to film, to craft, to keep ourselves busy and in good mental health. The arts mean so much more than just social activities, they are the lifeblood of our tourism and entertainment industries. The Mermaid has been an integral part of Bray since it opened and both Councillor Ferris and I said we would fight in its corner to retain full funding.”