Monday 8 December 2008

Government allocates €11m for historic houses

Over €11 million has been allocated for the upkeep of some of Ireland’s finest historic houses, the Government announced today.

Minister for Tourism Martin Cullen said it was important to invest in the attractions so they can bring in visitors when the economy recovers.

Russborough House in Co Wicklow, Fota House in Co Cork and Rothe House in Kilkenny are among those earmarked for the €11.2 million spend.

“The projects for which funding is being announced today are excellent examples of existing attractions which will benefit from funding for upgrading and development and which will further enhance the tourism product on offer to tourists,” said Mr Cullen.

Russborough, just outside Blessington, Co Wicklow, is to get €2.25 million to develop the Palladian mansion’s ice house, lime kiln and restore its gardens.

A “new visitor experience” will also be created with the funding to provide information about the history of the estate, as well as a photographic and film exhibition, a playground and a sculpture garden.

Kilkenny’s 17th century Rothe House is to get €1.9 million to further develop the museum while the Regency-style Fota House in Carrigtwohill, Co Cork, has been allocated €1.7 million for the refurbishment of the first floor and other projects.

Dunbrody Famine Ship in New Ross, Co Wexford, has been granted almost €2 million, Strokestown Famine Museum in Co Roscommon is to get €2.3 million and Blarney Castle in Co Cork is to receive just over €1 million.

“While international and domestic economic factors are creating a challenging trading environment for the tourism sector at present, it is important that we continue to invest in our tourism product, so we can be best placed to take full advantage when more favourable economic conditions return,” Mr Cullen said.

The funding is being allocated under Fáilte Ireland’s Tourism Capital Investment Programme for projects approved by the Fáilte Ireland Authority.

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