Security at the closed Galway Airport site has cost almost €80,000 over a 12 month period.
The airport closed to flights in 2013 and was bought by Galway City and County Councils in July 2014. In response to a question by Labour Cllr Niall McNelis, the council outlined that the total cost for security at the site from 15 December 2015 to 8 December 2016 was approximately €79,510. The costs included the purchase of an intruder alarm (€21,525), property management, caretaking and site maintenance (€21,517) and security including patrol security and monitoring of the CCTV and alarm (€36,466). Labour Councillor Niall McNelis expressed his concern at the expense, and highlighted that the site is only generating €20,000 revenue.
The only rent generated from the site is the annual contribution from the Galway Flying Club of €10,900. In 2016, there were other incomes totalling just over €9,000.
A feasibility study looking at the future uses of the site was carried out in 2015 and a number of options were considered. One of the recommendations included that it be turned into a creative campus for the TV and film sector.
Expressions of interest were sought from interested parties for the future development of the site on a short and medium term basis.
The council stated that it is in the final stages of ongoing discussions with a TV and film company regarding the use of the hangar facilities on a short term basis. Discussions will continue with interested parties who express an interest in using some or all of the site in line with the recommendations of the feasibility study, the council added.
Cllr McNelis said, “Galway has great potential for film, TV and media, especially with the talent of workers of this industry living in Galway City and County. “The purchase of the airport was the deal of the century for the city and county by both local authorities, but it cannot become a loss maker.”
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