Fáilte Ireland today announced €11.5m in funding from its Capital Grants budget for ten key OPW projects.
The funding is in the context of Fáilte Ireland’s strategic partnership with the OPW to assist in the refurbishment and enhancement of key visitor attractions.
€1.78 million will be spent at the Rock of Cashel on a new indoor exhibition, new outdoor interpretation and a new visitor hub to increase capacity
€585,000 will also be spent on Ormond Castle in Carrick on Suir on a new indoor exhibition / interpretive space, landscaping and refurbishment of outdoor spaces
Speaking today, Patrick O'Donovan, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport said:
“Our history and culture are a big part of our tourism offering and I am delighted to see Fáilte Ireland and the OPW working so closely together to improve some of our key heritage sites and making them much more accessible to visitors. If tourism is to sustain growth into the longer term, we need to continually upgrade and enhance the experience on the ground and today’s funding will very much help us do that.”
Today’s funding of €11.5m includes an investment in a new museum and viewing platform in The Record Tower at Dublin Castle, which will make one of the city’s most impressive medieval buildings much more compelling for visitors.
There is also significant funding for the Rock of Cashel as well as Newgrange, Knowth and the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre.
Welcoming today’s news, Séan Canney, Minister of State at the Office of Public Works said:
"The OPW is delighted that the heritage estate we manage is benefiting from this significant investment by Fáilte Ireland. There are many wonderful places to visit including Dublin Castle, where we are today, Glendalough, Ormond Castle and Knowth/Newgrange to name a few.
“The stimulus of this investment will help us to greatly improve the quality of the visitor offering and experience at these OPW locations so as to make sure that Ireland continues to be a great place to visit and to holiday. We have started with these 10 initial projects and I very much look forward to more such announcements in the future at other sites right around Ireland."
Stressing the importance of capital funding for the growth of tourism, Fáilte Ireland’s CEO, Paul Kelly emphasised:
“The tourism sector currently sustains 220,000 jobs and generates an estimated €6bn economic value a year. However, continued tourism growth will very much be dependent on our ability to provide continued improvement in the range of visitor experiences on the ground. Our latest overseas visitor research demonstrated that our unique history and culture provides a strong incentive for bringing people to our shores.
“As many of the OPW’s heritage sites are key attractions for tourism, our partnership with the OPW is critical to unlocking the full potential of our history and heritage to drive tourism based economic and employment growth. Today’s investment allows us to boost some key OPW sites such as Dublin Castle, Newgrange and the Rock of Cashel and really open them up further for visitors.”