Wednesday (8/18) on the U.K. website The Stage, Michael Quinn writes, “The opening of Belfast’s £17.5 million flagship arts centre may be delayed by up to a year after it emerged that work on the new city-centre venue has not yet begun five months after it was originally scheduled to. Construction of the Metropolitan Arts Centre, the city’s first purpose-built multi-platform arts venue, has been held up because the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure has failed to release funding of £10.8 million necessary to allow it to proceed. The delay puts in doubt the ambition to open in 2011 as a new home for the Old Museum Arts Centre. OMAC chairman Joris Minne has warned that 420 construction jobs are ‘in limbo’ because of the delay and that a failure by DCAL to meet a re-negotiated deadline of September 25 for receipt of funding ‘would mean probably waiting another year’. … When complete, the six-storey complex will house two performance spaces, workshop rooms, rehearsal and dance studios.”

Posted August 19, 2009