Fáilte Ireland’s €6.6million Atlantic Museum plan will transform Spanish Arch area

Eithne Verling, director Galway City Museum; Eamon O’Cuiv; Failte Ireland’s head of attractions, Mary Stack; and Sean Kyne, Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for Gaeilge, the Gaeltacht and the Islands; Cllr Donal Lyons; Miriam Kennedy, Wild Atlantic Way, and Brendan McGrath, chief executive of Galway City Council on site for the announcement on Friday.

Eithne Verling, director Galway City Museum; Eamon O’Cuiv; Failte Ireland’s head of attractions, Mary Stack; and Sean Kyne, Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for Gaeilge, the Gaeltacht and the Islands; Cllr Donal Lyons; Miriam Kennedy, Wild Atlantic Way, and Brendan McGrath, chief executive of Galway City Council on site for the announcement on Friday.

The Spanish Arch area of the city is set to be transformed following the announcement by Failte Ireland that it is making its single biggest investment in an attraction — the new Atlantic Museum Galway.

The National Tourism Development Authority announed last weekend that it is injecting €6.64million to develop a new state-of-the-art museum in Galway City. The Galway City Museum, located at the historic Spanish Arch, will be redeveloped and rebranded as the Atlantic Museum Galway.

According to Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Attractions, Mary Stack the investment will transform the Spanish Arch district of Galway City and is expected to generate €29.3million in revenue for the region in its first five years of opening.

Seán Kyne T.D., Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for Gaeilge, the Gaeltacht and the Islands made the official announcement at a special event at Galway City Museum.

The new three-storey interactive museum will be created at Comerford House, next to the current Galway City Museum, which stands on the left bank of the River Corrib. It will highlight the influence the Atlantic has had on the people, cultures and traditions of the once known ‘Merchant City’.

Through cutting-edge technology, visitors will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the history of the merchant tribes, Claddagh Basin and Spanish Armada.

Central to the new tourist attraction will be a viewing point at the top of the Spanish Arch to allow visitors to take in the spectacular vista of Galway Bay, the Claddagh and the River Corrib.The square between the Spanish Arch and the existing museum will be remodelled into a new public space that will bring all elements of the attraction together.

The Fáilte Ireland investment of €6.64million in the Atlantic Museum Galway comes under its Grants Scheme for Large Tourism Projects 2016-2020. The total project cost, including funding from Galway City Council, will be €10.2million.

Minister Seán Kyne, said“The Atlantic Museum Galway will be a hugely significant new attraction for Galway, the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland. Projects like this, and many others across the country, are critical not only for regional growth but for reinforcing Ireland’s reputation as a top-class visitor destination.”

Welcoming the funding today, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin T.D., said the Government is proud to support innovation in tourism and he commends Fáilte Ireland for its vision and investment in this significant project to create the new Atlantic Museum Galway.

“Without funding such as this, tourism would not be the major industry that it is today – one that employs 260,000 people and sustains communities nationwide.”

Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Attractions, Mary Stack, said that tourism is a sector that has seen significant growth in recent years but that we are facing uncertainty with Brexit on the horizon.

“It’s even more important now that we develop new visitor attractions to give overseas tourists compelling reasons to visit Ireland. The Atlantic Museum Galway will be a game-changer for the region both in terms of the visitor numbers and revenue it will generate.

“It is just one of 47 large capital projects Fáilte Ireland is supporting across the country. Tourism is a highly competitive business and with attractions like this, Ireland will continue to stand out in the international marketplace.”

Brendan McGrath, Chief Executive of Galway City Council, said that he is delighted with the announcement from Fáilte Ireland of their investment into this transformational project at the heart of the Cultural Quarter of Galway, creating a new breed of museum in our city.

“The Atlantic Museum, Galway will be an internationally recognised destination attraction, part of the legacy from our designation as a European Capital of Culture in 2020, that will generate economic and cultural benefits to the region for years to come.”

Eithne Verling, Director Galway City Museum, said the museum administrators are thrilled with this significant investment in the City Museum and excited about continuing their excellent partnership with Fáilte Ireland on this innovative and ground-breaking project.

Fáilte 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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