Vacant Spaces Initiative

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Vacant Spaces Initiative
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Vacant Spaces Initiative about?
The Vacant Space Initiative is a project that has grown from the amount of unused retail and
commercial space apparently sitting idle in Dublin and throughout the country. Many voices
have been asking Local Authorities to make some use of this space in a way that can add
value to its neighbourhood and perhaps even stimulate local business and employment. We
are aware that artists have always negotiated for and used spaces. They have a particular
eye for vacant or unused and even occupied spaces that can give life to their projects and
ideas, and often a complete reframing of the space itself.
Everyone is aware that due to the collapse of the property boom that many property owners
are unable to lease their premises and indeed that many of the loans of property owners
and the attached assets have been transferred to the National Asset Management Agency
(NAMA).
Since his appointment as Dublin City Arts Officer in August 2011 Ray Yeates has had many
inquiries about vacant buildings and cultural use several times daily. In 2012 the Arts Office
hosted seminars for 140 people, provided a property viewing day, compiled a register of
interest, and continues to liaise with artist and landlords on a daily basis.
Artists want to play a real part in Ireland’s economic recovery and are enthusiastically
seeking a win/win with property owners, City Council and NAMA that will genuinely advance
their artistic work while inevitably adding to Dublin’s quality of life and its reputation as an
artistic city. Dublin City Council are working hand in hand with artists across many City
Council Departments. Therefore, the Vacant Spaces Initiative was developed in response to
the demand from the arts community for access to vacant spaces. There is now a number of
artist/arts organisations on Dublin City Councils Vacant Space Initiative register. There is also
a list of vacant properties on Dublin City Councils Vacant Space Initiative Property Register.
What role is Dublin City Council playing in this initiative?
Dublin City Council is helping to facilitate the viewing and occupation of Vacant Spaces with
permission of the owners and artists on the Vacant Spaces Register.
DCC is not responsible to either the owner or artist once introductions and
induction/viewing has taken place.
Where and how can I/We get more information about Vacant Spaces?
For further information, you can log on to our website www.thelab.ie
or email [email protected] ... Tel: 01 222 7879
Is there a list of available Vacant Spaces in Dublin?
All vacant properties registered with the Vacant Spaces initiative, can be found on Dublin
City Council’s Arts Office website, here:
http://www.dublincity.ie/RecreationandCulture/ArtsOffice/Vacantspaces/Pages/VacantSpac
esInitiative.aspx
There is also full list of available vacant buildings that are known to the property section in
Dublin City Council, please contact DCC’s Department of Property for more information
Is there a list of artist/arts organisations that I can join?
The Arts Office has a register of artists and arts organisations. Interested parties/people can
email [email protected] to be added to the register.
How much will my licence fee be?
The licence fee will vary depending on your needs. The licence fee is something that you can
discuss with the licensor.
What will the cost of the utilities be?
The cost of utilities will depend on your utility needs and will vary depending on your usage.
Who will maintain the building?
The maintenance of the building can be discussed with the owner landlord.
Who will fit out the building?
Some landlords/owners will fit out a building for your use. Or you may have to fit the
building out or to pay the cost of fit out depending on your individual arrangement.
Who will give me advice if I need it?
Artists should contact Dublin City Council’s Arts Office for advice, and Landlords should
contact the Economic Development Unit for advice.
What do I need to know about Health and Safety?
All buildings should be compliant with all Health and Safety regulations. You should talk it
through with Landlord and if necessary do an audit with a qualified person.
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