Fáilte Ireland is investing in seven new or significantly improved tourism projects, under the Government’s Platform for Growth programme. The plan is to attract almost 400,000 visitors over the next five years, and these projects will all open their doors by the end of 2022.
New and Improved Tourism Projects for 2022
The projects due to open in 2022 are the Ceide Fields in Co. Mayo; Blaskets Centre, Co. Kerry; Knowth, Co. Meath; Strokestown, Co. Roscommon; Avondale, Co. Wicklow; Strandhill, Co. Sligo and Mount Congreve, Co. Waterford.
A total of €32m will be invested across the projects, including €16.2m of grant aid from Fáilte Ireland. It is expected that they will generate additional tourism revenue of €49m over the next five years.
Ceide Fields, County Mayo
This remarkable Neolithic site at Ceide Fields in County Mayo, contains the oldest known stone-walled fields in the world – dating back nearly 6,000 years.
The visitor centre will be redeveloped by replacing the existing exhibition and creating a vibrant experience for visitors with new archaeological material and knowledge about the site. The centre is nearing completion, and is due to open to the public in spring.
Blaskets Centre and Viewing Platform, County Kerry
The Blasket Islands are the most westerly group of islands off the coast of Ireland and Europe. The Visitor Centre which is currently under redevelopment with an upgraded visitor experience and exhibition. New audio visual displays have been developed to bring a new dimension to the rich story of Island life. The Blaskets Centre is due to reopen in spring.
Knowth, County Meath
The site at Knowth has the largest collection of Neolithic art in Europe and, it is older than the Egyptian Pyramids and Stonehenge. This project includes the construction of a new visitor centre in former farm buildings opposite the Knowth site. The new centre will house a state-of-the-art exhibition and is due to open in early March.
Strokestown Park and National Famine Museum, County Roscommon
The National Famine Museum @ Strokestown Park, will tell the story of the Great Hunger in an engaging and respectful way. Visitors will discover the culture and the day-to-day life of Ireland in the years before, during and after the Great Famine. The new visitor centre and café will transform the estate into a sustainable heritage visitor attraction.
Avondale House and Forest Park, County Wicklow
The redevelopment of Avondale House, former home of Charles Stuart Parnell, and the Forest Park will provide a world-class visitor destination in Rathdrum, Co Wicklow. The walled garden will be rejuvenated. There will be a unique 1.2km Tree Top Walkway and a 12-storey wooden viewing tower and slide for adults and children.
It will be a key new destination in Ireland’s Ancient East. It is expected to open to the public in May 2022. In the house an exhibition, ‘At Home with the Parnell’s’ will tell the story of the life and times of Charles Stewart Parnell, and his two sisters Anna and Fanny Parnell.
Strandhill Surf Centre, County Sligo
The development of Ireland’s first state of the art National Surf Centre is a new departure for Tourism Development. Ireland with a growing surfing reputation, has the potential to develop as a world class surfing destination. Set to open in September 2022, it will support the tourism industry in Strandhill through the provision of state-of-the-art services and facilities for surfing schools, surf visitors and many more.
Mount Congreve House and Gardens, County Waterford
Works have begun to develop Mount Congreve, which is home to one of the largest private collections of plants in the world, as a world-class tourist destination. Mount Congreve is one of the great gardens of the world.
The works will involve the partial redevelopment and restoration of Mount Congreve House and will provide enhanced visitor amenities including a new visitor centre. There will be a café and retail spaces. The visitor experience to the gardens and woodlands will be enhanced. As it is along the Waterford Greenway it will be a must stop experience for walkers and cyclists.