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€1.2m in funding for capital projects in Ireland’s Ancient East

Published: 9th September 2015

The Minister for Tourism, Transport and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, along with Minister of State for Tourism, Michael Ring TD, announced €1.2m in funding for capital projects in Ireland’s Ancient East

along with an additional €600k for the first stage of branded signage for all counties within the region.

The €1.2m Capital funding is the first phase of investment through Fáilte Ireland’s ‘New ideas in Ancient Spaces’ Capital Grants Scheme and is for an initial 12 projects within the Ireland’s Ancient East initiative. It is expected that projects in every county within Ireland’s Ancient East will be supported through the scheme over the coming months.

This first phase of funding under the ‘New ideas in Ancient Spaces’ Capital Grants Scheme follows a Fáilte Ireland call for applications from interested parties across the region. Fáilte Ireland is currently assessing a number of further applications from that call and will be announcing another round of funding before the end of the year.

Launched last April, Ireland’s Ancient East is Fáilte Ireland’s latest tourism initiative and seeks to build on the wealth of historical and cultural assets in the east and south of Ireland. The new initiative seeks to give visitors a personal experience of 5000 years of Irish history through a journey of discovery stretching from Carlingford to Cork and is intended to match and complement the Wild Atlantic Way in terms of scale and ambition.

The capital funding announced in the first phase of the ‘New ideas in Ancient Spaces’ Capital Grants Scheme is being awarded to:

· Lullymore Heritage & Discovery Park Ltd - enhanced visitor experience, County Kildare (€29k)
· Titanic Connections, Cork (€50k)
· Uisneach Interpretative Centre, County Westmeath (€65k)
· Tholsel Visitor Centre, Fethard, County Tipperary (€198k)
· Redevelopment of Powerscourt Visitor Interpretation Experience, County Wicklow (€80k)
· Athlone Castle – Enhancing the Visitor Experience, County Westmeath (€76k);
· Hook Lighthouse Guided Tour Experience, County Wexford (€80k)
· Journeys of Exploration, Anglo Irish Heritage at Blackrock Castle, Cork (€160k)
· Dunleckney Maltings, Carlow (€200k)
· Birr’s Anglo Irish & Early Christian Heritage, County Offaly (€84k)
· Boyne Valley: Waterway through Time, Trim, County Meath (€86k)
· Ancient Stones, Untold Stories – St Canice’s Cathedral & Round Tower Interpretation Project, Kilkenny (€80k).

Fáilte Ireland CEO Shaun Quinn emphasised:

“Fáilte Ireland is working directly with businesses and communities on the ground to bring this new experience brand alive. During the assessment phase for this capital funding, we were incredibly impressed by the enthusiasm and high quality of ideas within the proposals that we received.

“As an initiative firmly rooted in our past and our stories, it is vital that we bring these stories alive to take full advantage of the opportunities provided by Ireland’s Ancient East. Today’s funding will help us towards that goal and, by the year’s end, we will have helped to prime projects in every county within Ireland’s ancient East.”

Mr Quinn pointed out that Ireland’s Ancient East was an evolving initiative with much work to do. Fáilte Ireland is working with businesses and communities in the region to bring the proposition to life and to animate the stories of their locality. Mr Quinn added that, as part of the work to create a unified ‘look’ for the new initiative, €600k was now being allocated for the first phase of a signage and interpretation programme to bring all the diverse elements of Ireland’s Ancient East under the new experience brand.

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