Fáilte Ireland is to invest more than €860,000 into the Céide Fields Visitor Centre in north Mayo, helping to bring state-of-the-art visitor experiences to the OPW site.
This investment, coupled with OPW funding of €290,000, will bring the total investment in the centre to €1,150,000.
The grant support, which forms part of Fáilte Ireland’s strategic partnership with the OPW, comes from its capital grants budget, and will replace the existing Céide Fields Visitor Centre with a new exhibition and interpretation space.
The space will replace the current 25-year-old centre and showcase new archaeological material and knowledge about Céide Fields and the surrounding area.
It is hoped that the investment from Fáilte Ireland will help to significantly improve the visitor experience and almost treble visitor numbers from 33,148 to 90,000. Alongside OPW investment, the total spend on the project will be €1,150,000.
Welcoming the investment, Michael Ring, Minister for Rural and Community Development, said: “Céide Fields is a world-class heritage site with natural beauty and a unique story to tell. But it cannot sustain itself – it needs ongoing improvement and care to ensure it offers a high-quality experience and can be enjoyed by as many people as possible.
“In my tenure as minister for tourism and sport, I worked very hard to secure funding for Céide Fields. That’s why I’m delighted by this major investment from Fáilte Ireland and the OPW. This is how rural towns and villages can be revived with support from government.”
Chief Executive of Mayo County Council, Peter Hynes warmly welcomed this mornings announcement “I am very pleased to welcome this important investment at the Ceide Fields Visitor Centre and acknowledge all those involved in bringing it to fruition. Ceide is an internationally important Neolithic site and its story of Irelands first farmers is very intriguing. This investment will ensure that the visitor is immersed in the story of Ceide and that it continues to remain a compelling centre of interest to national and overseas visitors.
Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Cllr Richard Finn supported this positive news outlining “I am delighted to hear that the Ceide Fields is to receive new investment particularly after its recent announcement in receiving the international Carlo Scarpa landscape award. The Ceide Fields is one of the jewels of Mayo Tourism and a Must See - Must Visit attraction on the Wild Atlantic Way. I wish to thank both the OPW and Failte Ireland for the investment in the tourism assets of North Mayo.