A FORGOTTEN 17th century fort with connections to Oliver Cromwell and the Duke of Marlborough is to be the focus of a €4m tourist transformation.
Elizabeth Fort was used in Cork for over 200 years as a women's prison, a barracks and then a garda station but will now be turned into a visitor centre to rival Blarney Castle and Fota Wildlife Park.
The fort will be the cornerstone of an ambitious plan to develop Cork's 'cathedral quarter', with attractions including the medieval city walls, St Fin Barre's Cathedral and the English Market.
Under a €4m development blueprint, the star-shaped fort will be totally refurbished and provided with a high-tech visitor centre complete with audio-visual technology, a shop, a cafe, atmospheric lighting and an open area for use by theatrical, historical and educational groups.
Cork City Council is to make a funding submission to Failte Ireland and hopes to receive National Lottery grants to help defray the costs.
The fort was handed to the city council after the garda station there closed last year .