Michael Ring T.D., Minister for Rural and Community Development, has announced funding allocation of €62m to 26 tourism projects, as part of the €1bn Rural Regeneration and Development Fund.
€16.3m of the allocation was given to four projects – a Global Garden at Mount Congreve Estate, Co. Waterford; the Tourism Hub at South Quay, New Ross, Co. Wexford; the Barrow Blueway, Co. Carlow; and the Clew Bay Greenway Project in Co. Mayo. The total cost of all four projects, including match funding, is €25.2m.
Fáilte Ireland’s Director of Product Development Orla Carroll has described this funding as “A huge vote of confidence by the Government in tourism’s ability to drive economic growth in rural communities across Ireland”.
The project in New Ross will see the development of a new visitor attraction telling the story of Norman Wexford through the Knight William Marshall. It will also create a new and immersive visitor experience at Dunbrody Famine Ship while making improvements to the town. The project for New Ross is estimated by Fáilte Ireland to deliver €11.3m a year in revenue over a 10-year period, directly supporting 144 jobs for the local area.
The Mount Congreve Estate will be a step-change for Waterford as it aims to position the site as ‘one of the great gardens of the world’. Fáilte Ireland predicts it will deliver €23.6m in revenue over a decade for rural Waterford, supporting 64 jobs in the regional economy.
Orla Carroll, Director of Product Development at Fáilte Ireland said: “The four projects announced today with a strong tourism focus have been awarded a total allocation of just over €16.3m. This reflects the ability of the sector, and the confidence the Government has in it, to drive rural development and regional growth. Fáilte Ireland will continue to work closely with the Department of Rural and Community Development to deliver quality visitor experiences across the regions.”
Minister Ring added: “I believe that it is vital that we continue to build resilience in rural communities and make our towns and villages vibrant places for families to live. The projects that this fund supports are targeting areas where they can have the greatest economic and social impact and will help support communities in facing the uncertainty still posed by Brexit.”
The Rural Regeneration and Development Fund is a key component of Project Ireland 2040. The fund, administered by the Department of Rural and Community Development, will provide €1bn in investment over 10 years to support the renewal of small towns, villages and outlying rural areas. Initial funding of €315m is being allocated on a phased basis over the period 2019 to 2022. So far the Fund has provided €148m for 110 projects across Ireland, worth a total of €212m.