The Custom House Studios were established at the Quay in Westport through a partnership involving the Artists Group in Westport, Westport Town Council, Mayo County Council, the Department of Arts, and the whole Westport community. The aims of the project are:
To provide studio space for artists.
To provide exhibition space for artists.
To provide access to the local community and visitors to high quality arts events.
To assist in the development of careers within the visual arts.
To facilitate contact between artists in the Mayo area.
To link the work of artists with the local community.
To provide young artists with facilities to work in the County.
The studios originated back in the 1980s among locally based artists who recognised the need for a base or centre for the Arts – for studio space and an exhibition space. Mayo County Council and Westport Town Council became involved – by making available the old Custom House at the Quay as a site for the project. The building has been carefully restored to conserve its historical architectural features, housing seven studios, a printmaking workshop and a gallery space. The Custom House Studios ensures artists and the work artists do are integrated into the local community and are given real tangible supports to continue and develop their work. This has the potential to provide an added cultural benefit for the local community, as well as contributing to an enriched mix of tourism products for the town, while at the same time providing valuable high quality public relations opportunities all of which can only further increase the reputation of the town, both as an excellent tourist and business destination and a good place to live in.