A new partnership between the State and the Bank of Ireland will result in the creation of a new Cultural and Heritage Centre at the former Parliament in College Green. Bank of Ireland has made the space available for this centre to the State for a ten year period, and will cover the costs of refurbishment and operation of the centre. The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht – in partnership with Bank of Ireland – will manage, operate and animate the space for this period.
When open for use the Cultural and Heritage Centre will be accessed by the public via the Gandon-designed entrance to the College Green buildings on Westmoreland Street. Bank of Ireland will also facilitate guided access to the House of Lords for visitors to the Cultural and Heritage Centre. The ten-year licence for use of the centre runs alongside the Decade of Centenaries. It is envisaged that exhibitions at the Cultural and Heritage Centre will include a significant focus on key events in Irish history – up to the centenary of Civil War – which led to the creation of modern Ireland.
Whilst work is underway to prepare the space for use as a Cultural and Heritage Centre, Minister Deenihan, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht will ask an expert committee drawn from the national cultural institutions and other city institutions to advise him on a programme of exhibitions and events to take place at the centre. This programme will have a significant focus on the social, economic and political events of the Decade of Centenaries.