Develop Hazelwood House into top tourist destination
The public want Hazelwood House and its grounds restored and developed as a tourism amenity.
That's the result of a survey carried out by IT Sligo students.
Located on the shores of Lough Gill, Hazelwood House is currently for sale.
It's Ireland's first and possibly most important Palladian mansion.
But it's also one of the country's most 'at risk' heritage properties.
The survey was carried out by final year Bachelor of Business in Tourism degree students.
They got responses from almost 200 members of the public in Sligo last May.
IT Sligo tourism lecturer, Mary O'Keeffe, said the public were highly supportive of Hazelwood Heritage Society.
The Society wants to conserve and restore the property, in public ownership, as a tourism attraction/outdoor recreation centre.
Key survey findings included:
* 63% are aware of the existence of Hazelwood House.
* Only 30% are aware of its 'at risk' status.
* 66% of those surveyed have visited Hazelwood and its environs
* 73% agree that Hazelwood should be made available for public use primarily (68%) for tourism and outdoor recreation activities.
Hazelwood House was designed Richard Cassels in 1727.
It is the earliest example of Irish Palladian-style architecture.
The property is currently being offered for sale, with a guide price of €700,000.
It's being sold on the instructions of Grant Thornton, Receivers, appointed on behalf of AIB the mortgage holder.
Hazelwood Heritage Society is a local community group working to raise awareness of the importance of Hazelwood. The Society is seeking the gifting of Hazelwood to the community.