Mayo County Council's Economic Development and Enterprise Support Strategic Policy Committee, threw their weight behind finding a solution to securing the future of Westport House. The committee held a special meeting today (Wednesday, October 14 ) to discuss the future of the attraction after NAMA placed a loan attached to the estate up for sale as part of their Project Arrow portfolio.
According to a recent launched economic impact study the estate saw 161,906 visitors attend the house and it's ground in 2014 and it contributes, €50.7 million to the local economy each year.
The meeting of the SPC was attended by Fine Gael councillors Tom Connolly and Neil Cruise, Independent Cllr Christy Hyland, committee chair Independent Cllr Michael Kilcoyne, Westport Chamber representative Neil O'Neal and Director of Services for Mayo County Council, Joanne Grehan.
While there are ongoing behind the scenes negotiations between parties at the moment, the SPC proposed to bring forward an item for the agenda of the next Mayo County Council meeting which is due to take place next Monday. They have put forward the proposal that, in the absence of a positive update on the on going negotiations, that Mayo County Council ask for a clause in the NAMA Act (that can allow for the state to remove properties from a NAMA portfilo and be purchased by the state due to their public interest ) to be invoked which permits Westport House to be removed from Project Arrow and therefore after ask the state to purchase it.
For more on this story see, this Friday's issue of the Mayo Advertiser.