Ireland’s largest poetry publisher is close to achieving its fundraising goal to purchase a new property for their bookshop and literary centre.
Salmon Poetry established The Salmon Bookshop and Literary Centre in 2012 in Ennistymon Co Clare, however despite an intention to buy the building, the publisher was forced to vacate the property and seek another address.
Due to high property prices, finding a suitable property was challenging, but the Salmon Poetry team eventually found a spot which will allow for the expansion of their writing activities.
Although Salmon Poetry receives funding from the Irish Arts Council, An Chomhairle Ealaíon, this is for the publication of books only and cannot be used for any other purpose.
However, through a fundraising campaign, the team has managed to secure just under €55,000 for the new venture.
The Managing Director/Editor of Salmon Poetry Ltd, Jessie Lendennie, explained: “It’s extremely difficult to find a property in Ennistymon. Property prices are high, and there are few suitable places on the market. With luck and wonderful serendipity we found an excellent building on Main Street which will allow us to expand our writing activities.
“We have an agreement with the owner, but we are short of funds for the final purchase. Our bank, Bank of Ireland (for over 25 years) are, so far, not forthcoming. Alas, the situation is urgent.
“We have considerable inventory (30,000 books, three floors of furniture, office equipment, etc.) and we will be given a bit more time to move everything to the new building, but we have to secure the new building! So, we’re compelled to take a step to secure our new home as soon as possible and put Salmon’s situation out in public through gofundme.
“There was an overwhelming reaction of shock from friends, supporters, and writers locally, nationally and abroad, when they heard that we have to leave our lovely space and, unless we can secure a new premises, leave Ennistymon. We know from this reaction that people want to help us gain a secure home for Salmon Poetry, and we are very, very grateful for such care and appreciation for what we do.
“This is our 42nd year. We have published over 700 books; mainly poetry collections, but also memoir, fiction and literary non-fiction. The Salmon Bookshop and Literary Centre has been instrumental in the growth of the arts in North Clare. It will be a major loss to the community if we have to let our bookshop and literary centre die.
“Salmon has contributed to the vibrancy of literature in Ireland for decades and we now need help to carry on our part in Ireland’s cultural life. We will be honoured and extremely grateful for any donation you can give toward our cause.”
Six hundred and sixty donations have been made to the fundraising campaign so far, with €54,560 raised at time of writing.
In an update posted over the weekend (November 18), Jessie confirmed the company will close on the purchase of the new building on November 24.
She said, “It’s wonderful that we have had so much kind support!”
Although the initial fundraising goal was €55,000, this has now been increased to €60,000 due to Stamp Duty costs.
According to Jessie, the commercial rate for their new property is €17,000.
She said, “It has to be paid when we sign the contracts next week. That will leave nothing for the things that have to be done before we move in. So, yet again, after discussing the situation thoroughly, we’re asking for donations to help with the costs. I’m putting the gofundme amount to €60,000 and hope that you will help if you can.”
Routine things which need to be done before moving in include painting, shelving and “some long overdue maintenance”.
Anyone wishing to contribute to the fundraiser can do so here.