The Glens Centre was built in 1994 by North Leitrim Glens Development Company as a general purpose meeting and performance space, and tourist information hub for north Leitrim. Originally the old Methodist Church, built in 1830 and deconsecrated in 1964, the company restored the old building and added self-catering apartments and office space. In 2001 the company converted the auditorium to a 140-seat theatre. Since then, the Glens Centre has become a favourite of both artists and audiences. Thanks to the accommodation and rehearsal space, the Glens has pioneered the “performance laboratory” concept, where artists live in the community while they develop new work.

The North Leitrim Glens Development Company itself was formed in 1992, four years after the people of north Leitrim got together to rebuild confidence and self-belief among the community and to stimulate the economic and cultural regeneration of the area.

In addition to the cultural activities hosted by the Glens, the centre is a flagship building in the town of Manorhamilton, which welcomes all groups and individuals to enjoy the space, the excellent acoustics, and the beautiful surroundings.

Chronology

1988 Working group formed.
1989Siamsa Samhraidh launched.
1990“North Leitrim Glens” name adopted.
1991First tourist publications. Book on hill walks launched by Nuala O’Faoileain.
1992North Leitrim Glens Development Company formed; app-ointment of first worker.
1993Hill walking festival launched, Old Methodist Church purchased.
1994North Leitrim Glens Tourism Cooperative established to promote rural tourism. Methodist church restoration.
1995Glens Centre opened by Mary Robinson.
Childcare services developed.
First artistic director appointed
First One Act Drama Festival
North Leitrim Resource Centre established in the Glens Centre
1996Tourism co-op launched; development worker appointed.
North Leitrim Women’s Re-source Group formed.
1997Glens Players established.
North Leitrim Glens Partnership Company set up. Receives £75,000 IDA funds to benefit local enterprise.
First concerts and performances held in collaboration with the Arts Council and Music Network.
1998First writers group established.
1999Radio Lúnasa first broadcast from the centre.
2001New extension built, seating capacity increased to 140.
Company objectives changed to focus on arts and culture.
20027-day theatre licence granted.
2011First theatre residency.