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Kilkenny gets multi-million euro makeover

KILKENNY is to get a €5.6m makeover to help boost visitor numbers to the popular city, it has been announced.

Plans include a new exhibition centre in St Mary's Church, which will safeguard the future of the historic building, and a garden walk along the River Nore which will link Kilkenny Castle with the canal walk.

The medieval city's streets will also get an overhaul to make them more attractive for holidaymakers.

Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar revealed details of the scheme as part of a 6.7 million euro Failte Ireland funding package for tourism projects in Kilkenny, the Boyne Valley and Westport.

"It's crucial that we offer top-quality attractions, particularly in areas with a strong tourism base, so that we can compete for tourists in the tough international market," he said.

"These three projects are very different, but they are all innovative. Each is also tailor-made for its specific area."

In the Boyne Valley, almost €250,000 has been earmarked for new interactive displays and films at visitor centres at the Tholsel Building in Drogheda and the Kells Heritage Centre, which will tell the story of the historic area.

Some €920,000 has been set aside to develop Westport Cultural Centre, based in the Town Hall.