Big attraction: Tayto Park 'brings in €32m and supports 800 jobs'
Tayto Park last year produced a €32m spend for the economy and sustained over 800 jobs - according to a report commissioned as part of its fight to secure planning permission for a new €14m steel rollercoaster.
'Coaster 2021' is to consist of two separate rollercoaster rides in one with a combined track length of 972m.
The project remains on hold as An Bord Pleanála decides on an appeal lodged by local residents against the decision by Meath County Council to give it the green light.
The appeal by the four residents has stated that the anticipated screaming from passengers on 'Coaster 2021' will increase noise disturbance in the area.
However, rebutting the residents' claims, planning consultant for Tayto Park, Declan Brassil has told the appeals board that the various documents submitted "have demonstrated that the proposed development will not give rise to unacceptable environmental impacts or impacts on the rural or residential amenities of the area".
In a bid to ensure that the plan gets the go-ahead, Tayto Park has lodged a Tourism and Economic Impact Statement with An Bord Pleanála outlining the benefits of the visitor attraction to the Irish economy.
CHL Consulting say the tourism spend from Tayto Park last year totalled €18.3m to €18.7m while the spend at Tayto Park totalled €14m giving an overall spend in 2018 of between €32.3m to €32.7m.
The report estimates that the taxes paid to the State from the economic activity generated by Tayto Park in the economy totalled €5.73m in 2018.
The report states that the park sustained between 494 and 505 tourist jobs and 327 jobs in the park resulting in a total of 821 to 832 jobs.
The documentation lodged states that visitor numbers at Tayto Park reached a peak of 700,000 with the opening of Cú Chulainn rollercoaster in 2015 and the opening of the new rollercoaster is required "to safeguard the park's future viability and its position as one of the country's top attractions".
The Tayto Park documents state that there has been an underlying trend of declining visitor numbers since 2015 - last year it received 607,000 visitors.
The report states that it is intended that Coaster 2021 will be in place in 2021 - six years after the opening of the Cú Chulainn. The report states: "Accordingly, the proposed development is now critical to securing the future of the park and its ongoing contribution to the local and regional economies."
The report states that 'Coaster 2021' will increase visitor numbers at Tayto Park by 15pc and create an additional 40 jobs.
Underlining the national appeal of Tayto Park, the report says that in 2018 83pc of visitors - 505,534 people - came from outside Meath and of these, 116,760 came from out of the State.
The report also states that 'Coaster 2021' represents part of the final phase of the plan-led expansion of Tayto Park.
The appeals board has asked the objectors and Meath Co Council to send through any observations they may have on the new information.