Fine Gael Deputy for Longford/Westmeath, Gabrielle McFadden, has said that the €77,000 in Failte funding to enhance the visitor experience at Athlone Castle will help promote this key visitor attraction to an even wider international market.
“This funding is part of ongoing investment in Athlone Castle over the last number of years and will further enhance the visitor experience at the castle,” McFadden said. “The allocation will support innovations such as a new multi-lingual audio guide in five European languages and with a costumed guided tour by heritage interpreters.
“The funding will also support the provision of a downloadable guide and mobile App as well as outdoor information panels which will highlight buildings and landmarks that have historical and cultural significance to Athlone and the greater region of Ireland’s Ancient East.
“With the assistance of tour operators, Athlone Castle and the Athlone visitor experience will now get further exposure to the international market. I have consistently said over many years that we should sell our historical and natural resources in Athlone and the Midlands region and package them accordingly from a tourism point of view. Tourism development can provide one of the keys to ensuring the economic recovery is felt in this region.
“I also welcome the €65,000 in grant-aid for a Hill of Uisneach Interpretative Centre, located at the site between Athlone and Mullingar. The funding will assist the conversion of a cottage on the site into a new visitor centre to improve the interpretation of the Hill of Uisneach. “This total funding is part of Fáilte Ireland’s ‘New ideas in Ancient Spaces’ Capital Grants Scheme to encourage the development of compelling visitor experiences throughout the Ireland’s Ancient East region.”