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Jewellery Centre of Excellence opened officially today in Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny

Today the Academy of Jewellery and Goldsmithing Centre of Excellence was opened officially in Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny. The Sessions House building, a former Courthouse in the centre of Thomastown has been transformed into a new home for the jewellery academy.

This project, funded under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, together with a contribution from the LEADER Programme through Kilkenny LEADER Partnership and match funding from Kilkenny County Council has been delivered at an overall cost of €1.5 million demonstrating a significant investment in the creative sector and in Thomastown.

The investment from the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund has also supported public realm improvements and the provision of an accessible carpark in the town consistent with the Our Rural Future objectives of attracting more visitors, shoppers and investors into rural towns.

Kilkenny County Council was awarded funding of over €1.75 million under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund in 2019 for the Thomastown Regeneration project which included the refurbishing of the Sessions House building.

Kilkenny County Council has partnered with the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland and Kilkenny LEADER Partnership to deliver this project which will renovate and repurpose a heritage structure for use by the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland to facilitate the relocation and expansion of the existing Centre of Excellence in Jewellery and Goldsmithing currently located in Castle Yard, Kilkenny City.

The Centre of Excellence will provide educational opportunities for the jewellery sector providing facilities for full-time students and industry specific short courses. The centre will also provide space for Designers in residency, incubator spaces and a gallery space accessible to the public.

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