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    Fáilte Ireland invests in new state-of-the-art visitor attraction for Longford

    Fáilte Ireland invests in new state-of-the-art visitor attraction for Longford

    Minister of State for the OPW and Flood Relief, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran T.D., has today welcomed Fáilte Ireland funding of €640,000 for the ‘Norman Heritage Park’, a major new visitor attraction in Granard, Co. Longford.

    The state-of-the-art visitor attraction will be a “huge asset for Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands” according to Minister Boxer Moran as it will become “Ireland’s only authentically recreated Norman village that brings the story of Ireland under the Normans to life”.

    The village will provide an immersive experience for visitors that will transport them back 800 years to experience how the people of that era lived, worked and played – all delivered through live acting, innovative displays and activities, as well as augmented and virtual reality.

    Key features of the attraction will also include a fully accessible recreated Norman ship, a ‘treasure tunnel’ and buildings across the park ranging from a banqueting hall to a typical family home.

    The Fáilte Ireland investment of €640,000 in the Norman Heritage Park comes under its Grants Scheme for Large Tourism Projects 2016-2020. This adds to the investment of almost €3million announced for the project by the Department of Rural and Community Development earlier this year through its Rural Regeneration and Development Fund.

    The project has been driven by Granard Motte Community Enterprise CLG (GMCE) and Longford County Council, with support from the Office of Public Works (OPW).

    Welcoming the funding today, Minister of State for the OPW and Flood Relief, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran and local T.D. for Longford and Westmeath said:

    “I’m delighted that Fáilte Ireland has invested in this major and unique new visitor attraction for Longford, adding to the significant investment the project received through the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund earlier this year. There is no doubt that the Norman Heritage Park at Granard will be a key attraction in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands and the team at Fáilte Ireland has helped to shape the project along with key partners. This idea, from conception to securing funding, has been a great example of the public sector and communities coming together to create a brilliant attraction for visitors and locals alike.”

    Head of Attractions at Fáilte Ireland, Mary Stack, said:

    “At Fáilte Ireland, we actively look for every opportunity to support and create new experiences across Ireland.  The Norman Heritage Park is an example of a unique attraction that has the capacity to be a game-changer for Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands and which will stand out in the international marketplace. Projects like this, and many others in our capital investment programme, are vital not only for regional growth but for reinforcing Ireland’s reputation as a high-quality visitor destination. I want to commend Granard Motte Community Enterprise CLG for their vision and commitment to this project.” 

    Fr. Simon Cadam, Chair of Granard Motte Community Enterprise CLG (GMCE) said:

    “We’re delighted that Fáilte Ireland has seen the major potential in our idea for the Norman Heritage Park from the outset and provided this investment as well as its support and insights, which will help us to develop a brilliant visitor experience. This is a community driven project which will bring to life one of the finest examples of an Anglo-Norman fortification in Ireland. Granard is home to the highest Norman motte in Ireland, commanding spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and this new attraction will transform the visitor experience here. Vitally, it will help to create jobs in our local area and that has been a key driver for us in the Granard Motte Community Enterprise.”

    Failte Ireland’s Grant Scheme for Large Tourism Projects is funded under the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 strategy with the aim of driving sustainable growth in the Irish tourism sector and higher revenue and job creation around Ireland.

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