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  • Minister announces €5.5 million tourism investment in “Medieval Mile” for Kilkenny

    Minister announces €5.5 million tourism investment in “Medieval Mile” for Kilkenny
    Minister Phil Hogan launches the Medieval Mile in Kilkenny

    The Minister for the Environment, Community & Local Government, Mr Phil Hogan T.D, today (Tuesday October 30th 2012) announced an ambitious €5.5 million investment in a  new “Medieval Mile” tourism project for Kilkenny.

    The “Medieval Mile” will stretch from Kilkenny Castle to St Canice’s Cathedral and will position the historic city as a “must see” destination for overseas visitors to Ireland.

    Minister Hogan said approval had been secured for investment by Failte Ireland in three “Medieval Mile” projects -  a museum at St Mary’s Church; a Great Garden along the River Nore through the centre of the city and a “medieval mile” visitor experience stretching from Kilkenny Castle to St Canice’s Cathedral through the main street (High Street).

    Outlining details of the initiative in The Parade Tower in Kilkenny Castle the Minister said he was delighted to announce funding for the “Medieval Mile” development which will not only lead to an increase in tourist numbers to the city but which will also provide Kilkenny with an economic boost. “Kilkenny is steeped in rich culture and history, and is already one of Ireland’s top tourist centres. This investment will reinforce the city’s position as a major tourism hub and will make it more attractive for people to do business.” He said that the investment would in addition help the entire South East tourism offer and be part of a marketing campaign linked  with  existing attractions in Waterford and Wexford particularly.

    Fáilte Ireland CEO, Shaun Quinn today emphasised that Kilkenny is a city of significant strategic importance to overseas tourism to Ireland. “We in Fáilte Ireland believe we can build on the remarkable potential of Kilkenny to increase the quantity of visitors we welcome and to enhance the quality of their experience. The Medieval Mile Project, which will incorporate a number of integrated projects in the city centre, will give Kilkenny a competitive edge when it comes to attracting more overseas visitors to the city. This is not only good for tourism but also for businesses, retailers and jobs.”

    “Increasingly, a successful tourism destination needs to be able to tell its story and to provide opportunities for visitors to engage with the narrative. We believe that the Medieval Mile development will assist us in the marketing of Ireland and in particular Kilkenny as a world class cultural destination”.

    Kilkenny City and County Manager, Mr Joe Crockett, said the Medieval Mile Project is part of the Invest Kilkenny programme aimed at  promoting Kilkenny as a great place to do business. “This will transform Kilkenny and make Kilkenny even more attractive for the visitor . It will also mean that the city centre will be one of the most attractive city centres in the country strengthening its retail mix and also making it very attractive for IT companies and corporate headquarters location.”

    Mayor of Kilkenny, Mr Sean O’Hargain, welcomed the announcement by the Minister and Failte Ireland of this major capital investment.   He said  that “the Kilkenny local authorities had  been working hard with tourism, community, arts and business groups to develop the medieval mile project.  He said “We have an abundance of authentic heritage and culture in Kilkenny and I am very excited that funding has been secured for this project which will pull together our rich assets and treasure.”

    The €5.5 million is phase one of a strategic development package worth €15 million to be delivered by Failte Ireland and the Kilkenny Local Authorities working with Kilkenny Tourism and local arts interests over the next four years.

    Kilkenny is one of an “urban triangle” of three centres in the South East, including Wexford and Waterford, which have been targeted by Failte Ireland for promotion. Visitors numbers to the South East grew 6%  last year, and the sector is worth €360 million  to the region and accounts for over 10,000 jobs.
    The number of international visitors to Kilkenny rose from 206,000 in 2010 to 214,000 in 2011. This represents 30% of all visitors to the southeast region.

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