Donegal has submitted 10 proposals in an attempt to secure funding for a new large-scale visitor attraction, it has been revealed.
Fáilte Ireland’s new investment programme has received a record of number of applications following its launch earlier this summer.
The National Tourism Development Authority received a total of 141 ideas worth almost €1.3billion for new large-scale visitor attractions across the country through its Platforms for Growth programme.
This is the highest number of project proposals ever submitted to Fáilte Ireland in a call for investment. These applications, from a total of 23 counties, have now progressed to the next stage of the highly competitive process with the greatest number of proposals coming from Dublin (25), Kerry (16), Galway (13), and Cork (12).
Over the course of the programme, Fáilte Ireland will invest €150million into developing major new visitor experiences of scale across the country, with individual grants of €2.5million upwards available.
Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Attractions, Mary Stack, said today that there are clear themes emerging from the ideas put forward and that ‘cutting-edge technology’ was at the core of almost every application.
She said: “With a solid mix of applications from the private and public sector as well as voluntary organisations, this is the highest number of submissions we’ve had for an investment programme. This means there will be incredibly stiff competition for funding as only the best few will make it through to the final stages of the process.
“The large number of applications really is a testament to the high level of confidence there is in the tourism sector and its unique ability to drive revenue and growth into regions across the country.
“We’re seeing clear themes emerging from the applications, with ideas ranging from ways for tourists to explore Irish mythology or the country’s transport and aviation history, as well as new takes on contemporary Irish culture including sport, music and the arts.
“We’ve seen applications for brand new attractions as well as existing attractions with proposals to refresh and reinvent themselves.”
Platforms for Growth, which forms part of Fáilte Ireland’s Grants Scheme for Large Tourism Projects, is unlike any previous investment announced by the National Tourism Development Authority. It specifically targets ‘platforms’ or projects that have the greatest potential to grow tourism across Ireland, and fill gaps in the Irish tourism offering in order to meet changing visitor preferences.
Through this approach, Platforms for Growth will pave the way for large-scale and transformative attractions that will become key motivators to visit an area. In turn, this will step-change the economic value of tourism in the area through increased visitor numbers, revenue and job creation.
Mary Stack added: “Fusing great stories with cutting-edge technology is central to most of the applications we’ve received, and we’re hugely impressed by the calibre of the proposals.
The overall value of the projects being put forward demonstrates how important this kind of investment programme is in leveraging further funding for a new or existing attraction. This is a very exciting time for Irish tourism and these projects would be truly transformative for local areas.”
Fáilte Ireland will now begin assessing this large volume of applications. The strongest project proposals will be invited to compete in the final stage of the application process.
Platforms for Growth 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