Monday 21 May 2018

Shannon Heritage to revamp Bunratty Castle attraction next year

The Bunratty Castle and Folk Park has won grant aid from Fáilte Ireland
The Bunratty Castle and Folk Park has won grant aid from Fáilte Ireland

Gordon Deegan

Shannon Heritage is to give its flagship visitor attraction, Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, a major revamp.

Last year, revenues at Shannon Heritage increased by 9pc to €16.7m as visitor numbers across its portfolio of attractions topped 887,000.

Shannon Heritage has spent €5m on its network of visitor attractions over the past five years. Now a major renewal is to take place at its most popular attraction after Shannon Heritage admitted that it needed "reinvigoration and future investment".

Shannon Heritage said it has been successful in gaining grant aid from Fáilte Ireland for the development phase, with implementation subject to further grant aid.

The works consist of new multimedia overlays in various old buildings in the folk park and new audio installations in various folk park buildings in order to re-create the original atmosphere.

The works also include refurbishment/conservation, new multimedia installation and furnishing and set dressing of Bunratty House.

The plan will also include new children's outdoor play areas; major new signage and interpretation and additional car parking.

Shannon Heritage said that it expects work to commence on the project in September 2019.

In the Shannon Group's recently published annual report, CEO Matthew Thomas said that all Shannon Heritage sites showed growth during 2017, with the exception of GPO Witness History. That enjoyed exceptional demand in 2016 with the 1916 centenary commemoration.

He said: "We have ambitious plans for Shannon Heritage and will continue to develop and grow our portfolio of attractions. In order to grow tourism numbers we need to provide compelling reasons for people to come to Ireland.

"In partnership with key agencies such as Fáilte Ireland, we are committed to investing heavily in Shannon Heritage in the years ahead to grow a strong and vibrant tourism offering."

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