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The Irish government will be investing €5.5 million to promote the historical city of Kilkenny as a “must see” tourist destination. Phil Hogan, Ireland’s Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, made the announcement this week that will be funding the “Medieval Mile” tourism project for Kilkenny, focusing on three sites – 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.
Minister Hogan explained, “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.”
The funding will be funnelled through Fáilte Ireland, the the National Tourism Development Authority of Ireland. Shaun Quinn, Fáilte Ireland’s CEO 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.
Source: Fáilte Ireland