A disagreement has emerged between the CMETB and the Virginia Show Centre over the cost of a lease for use by Virginia College.
As part of the CMETB’s Covid-19 emergency response measures, the Department of Education and Skills sanctioned funding of €95k to provide additional accommodation for the students of the college at the centre, however management of the centre have disputed this figure.
CMETB sought funding from the Department based on costs they say were given to them by the Virginia Show Centre to the sum of 95,000 euro.
The board says that without sourcing appropriate accommodation the school could not meet current Covid-19 guidelines and a proportion of students would not have been able to return to school, and other options in the town posed health and safety risks to students.
Suitable accommodation was found at the Show Centre by means of a short term rental agreement of 10 months.
In a statement to Northern Sound the CMETB said they made several attempts to reduce the cost of this agreement to no avail.
Chief Executive, John Kearney briefed the Board at a recent meeting on the efforts to reduce the cost with the Board registering serious reservations and profound disappointment with the firm financial stance adopted by the Show Centre.
However, in response to this management of the Virginia Show Centre told our newsdesk the figure quoted is entirely inaccurate and the final payment at the agreed rates should things continue as planned will be a fraction of the stated amount as this initial estimate was for the whole facility with staffing fully equipped with walk in facilities.
In total more than 12,000 square feet of the Centre is currently in active use by the school and in order to facilitate the school operation, 90% of the normal planned activity within the Show Centre has been displaced.
The Virginia Show Centre stated they are a not-for-profit community facility and any income received through social enterprise is reinvested in the Centre.
The CMETB have now confirmed that if 0the cost is now lower than previously advised by the Show Centre, CMETB will return the remaining funding back to the Department.