Fáilte Ireland has today announced the first three visitor attractions to be awarded major funding through its Grants Scheme for Large Tourism Projects 2020, which is intended to help deliver world-class tourist experiences, boost overseas visitor growth and create jobs. Among those projects to benefit from the funding is Sligo Pontoon Jetty.
The VAULTS.LIVE in Dublin, Kilkenny’s Butler Gallery and Sligo Pontoon Jetty are the first of 24 shortlisted projects to be awarded Delivery Grants under the scheme for implementation of their projects. The scheme provides investment to develop new, or boost existing, tourism experiences and attractions across Ireland.
The Fáilte Ireland grant of €200,000 will see the construction of a 27m floating pontoon alongside landscaping, signage, a new shelter area, seating and information points at the Sligo Pontoon.
Located on the Garvogue River and within walking distance of Sligo City Centre, it will provide opportunities for existing and new tourism businesses to create and expand their products and services. The development of the pontoon through this funding will also support access to Lough Gill for sport, recreation and tourism opportunities, including WB Yeats themed visitor experiences given its association with the famous poem Lake Isle of Innisfree.
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin T.D. visited Evan’s Almshouse in Kilkenny today, which will become the new home to the Butler Gallery through this grant. Welcoming the funding, he said, “I’m delighted that awards are now being made under this scheme, which will help to boost visitors to the country’s regions, create jobs and growth, and help to develop local areas. This kind of investment is absolutely critical in ensuring that Ireland’s tourist attractions are world-class and that the industry is strong and sustainable into the future.
"I know that the funding announced today will be a major boost to VAULTS.LIVE, the Butler Gallery and Sligo Pontoon Jetty, and I look forward to further investment in other projects around the country through the scheme.”
Speaking today, Paul Kelly, Fáilte Ireland’s Chief Executive Officer emphasised, “We believe that sustainable growth in tourism will depend on greater regionality and seasonality. Investment in tourism projects like these forms one strand of Fáilte Ireland’s approach to achieving this. At the heart of successful tourism is the visitor experience and we’re committed to building great experiences for visitors to enjoy around the country and throughout the year.”
Welcoming the news for Sligo, Joe Corcoran, Project Co-ordinator at Sligo Tourist Development Association, said, “The provision of daily sailings from the new berthing facility on the Garavogue river will open up Lough Gill to many Wild Atlantic Way tourists, experiencing this much loved Yeats location, which is steeped in a rich history of folklore and stunning scenery."
Capital investment is a key driver for tourism growth and the creation of jobs in the sector. It is also vital in successfully and consistently delivering world-class visitor experiences, ensuring that Ireland’s tourism industry is strong and competitive into the future. Through its range of capital investment programmes, Fáilte Ireland works with visitor sites and attractions across every region to ensure the whole country has a strong tourism offering all year round.