Center Parcs unveils €200m plans for Longford Forest resort
€1 billion 'economic uplift' estimated
Center Parcs has revealed its proposed plans for a €200m holiday village near Ballymahon, Co. Longford.
The UK holiday company today unveiled a full preview of Center Parcs Longford Forest, to be located 5km from Ballymahon in Newcastle Wood.
The Dutch-style holiday village will create some 750 jobs during construction and employ up to 1,000 in permanent jobs once operational, the company said.
The Longford development could generate an economic uplift of €1 billion for the Irish economy over the next 20 years, Centre Parcs estimates.
It is the first Center Parcs UK site be to be built outside of England, housing up to 2,500 guests in what is a major tourism coup for the Midlands county.
A detailed masterplan unveiled today shows scale models of the lodges and centre buildings – including the Subtropical Swimming Paradise - and artist’s impressions of various aspects of the village (see gallery above).
It is envisaged that the Longford development will consist of:
- 500 lodges including apartments and treehouses
- A main centre building housing indoor leisure activities, a range of shops and restaurants and the Subtropical Swimming Paradise
- An Aqua Sana Spa
- A lake
- Outdoor sports and leisure facilities
- A Nature Centre
“Today marks a significant milestone in our plan to bring Center Parcs to Ireland," said Center Parcs CEO, Martin Dalby.
"Center Parcs Longford Forest will have a significant impact on the local and regional economy, bringing 1,750 jobs and a €1 billion injection into the economy over a 20 year period," he added.
The plans were shared with the local community and residents at one of a series of community engagement days hosted by the company, it says.
The planning application will be submitted in the autumn.
From there, Longford County Council will undertake a formal five week period of consultation, during which time the Center Parcs plans will be on public display at the Council office in Longford town.
The Center Parcs model
Center Parcs operates several UK resorts - including Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, Whinfell Forest in Cumbria, Lonleat Forest in Wiltshire, Woburn Forest in Bedfordshire and Elveden Forest in Suffolk.
The idea is that guests pay a basic fee for accommodation - usually a short weekend or midweek break - and then book activities online ahead of their visit.
The choice of activities is vast - ranging from kayaking and raft-building to high ropes courses, bike hire, paintball, archery, adventure golf, tennis and more.
"We have over 28 years’ experience in developing and operating market leading holiday villages throughout the UK, and we are excited about the prospect of bringing our award winning short break offering to Irish families," Dalby said.
The firm recently told locals that it will protect a ringfort, discovered following an archaeological survey of the 375-acre site, and restore an old herdsman hut also located on the site.
Pending planning permission, Center Parcs Longford is expected to open in 2019 after a two year construction period.