New €12m Balbriggan music campus officially launchedPadraig Conlon 20 Jan 2022
BALBRIGGAN’S new €12 million music campus is expected to bring 250,000 visitors a year to the town.
Last Friday, An Taoiseach Micheál Martin officially unveiled a plaque to mark the beginning of the new concert hall build and the official opening of the Irish Institute of Music and Song.
Founded by renowned conductor, educator, and CEO Michael T Dawson, the Irish Institute of Music and Song (IIMS) Campus includes the IIMS School, a ten-luxury bedroom boutique hotel in the beautiful Bedford House and Hall, shared accommodation for groups or students, the La-La Café & Restaurant and will add “the Lark” a brand-new state of the art 400 seat concert hall in the near future.
Speaking at the launch, Michael T. Dawson, said:
“Our vision is to increase access to quality music education at primary, secondary and third-level, provide inspiring musical experiences and connect Ireland with the world through music performance and education.
“Since 2020 our educational reach has extended beyond Ireland to the U.S, Africa, Australia and China through our online courses and educational resources and we expect this to grow exponentially over the coming months.
“We are privileged to have developed a fantastic relationship with local groups and artists in Fingal over the past 8 years and the response we have had from the local community since moving to Balbriggan has been incredible.
“Our new location in Ireland’s fastest growing, most diverse and youngest town is an incredible asset and it has already become an essential stop off point with Orchestras and choirs from the U.S & Europe due to visit this Summer.
“The IIMS will be an open, dynamic and international hub for musicians and artists across all genres.”
The vision for the IIMS’s development has been shared by Michael Dawson Senior entrepreneur and the founder of One4All gift cards who is backing the development.
The €12 million is being invested in the construction of the Campus with the creation of 160 jobs when fully operational in Spring 2023.
The construction and development of the Campus has been privately funded to date.
The IIMS school was founded in 2013 and was previously known as The Fingal Academy of Music delivering music courses to over 2000 students weekly.
The La-La Café and Restaurant opened since July 2021 has already made a big impact in the culinary circles of North County Dublin and the Bedford House and Hall luxury accommodation has already hosted international stars from Broadway and beyond.
Once The Lark is completed and opens its doors, planned for March 2023, the IIMS expects to welcome 250,000 visitors per annum and will attract music schools and groups from all over the world to learn, collaborate and stay in the seaside Balbriggan campus. In addition, The Lark Concert Hall will also host professional music concerts which will be open to the public.
Speaking at the launch last Friday, the Taoiseach said:
“The reputation of Irish musicians has helped open doors for us abroad, not only in the diplomatic sphere but has also helped pave the way for economic growth and paved the way for Ireland’s exporters to expand their markets.
“This investment marks a major milestone for Irish music both in Balbriggan and beyond.”
Also speaking at the launch, Michael P. Dawson, Chairman of the Irish Institute of Music and Song said the new music campus will be a big boost to the area.
“What we are developing here is a whole new musical eco system where students get to learn, share and develop alongside experienced and accomplished musicians from around Ireland and beyond,” he said.
“Phase three of the IIMS campus, the new ‘Lark’ 400-seater concert hall will serve an immediate catchment area of 200,000 from Malahide to Drogheda.
“It will be a big boost to the area and will be a hub for both local, national and international music. We have taken a significant initiative here and hope that government and others will follow with their support to make our vision for the IIMS a reality.”