Carlow Town will be allocated significant funding by Fáilte Ireland to develop its potential as a tourism ‘destination town’.
The funding has been allocated through Carlow County Council as part of the €15.5million ‘Destination Towns’ initiative launched earlier this year by the National Tourism Development Authority.
The Destination Towns project in Carlow will develop a tourism hub for both visitors and locals at Carlow College/Visual Centre for Contemporary Art and animate the area with local festivals and events to draw visitors to the ‘Cultural Quarter’.
A walking trail will bring to life Carlow’s history through interactive signage erected at twelve key locations within the town centre. To enhance the trail further, a public art project on various buildings along the route will act as extra points of interest.
The process of identifying the towns that receive funding through the Destination Towns scheme commenced in mid-2019 and was led by the Local Authorities in consultation with Fáilte Ireland.
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin TD confirmed today that every county in Ireland will benefit and the first round of allocations, including Carlow Town, will take place from January.
The Fáilte Ireland scheme is part of the National Tourism Development Authority’s work to drive a better regional spread of overseas and domestic visitors and spend.
Through the scheme1, which was launched earlier this year, every Local Authority in the country had the opportunity to bid for funding of up to €500,000 to develop a town in the county to enable it to improve its tourism offering and make itself more attractive to visitors. The Local Authorities will also provide funding for their projects.
With Fáilte Ireland research consistently showing that attractive towns and cities are key motivators for overseas holidaymakers coming to Ireland2, the new scheme will provide funding to Councils to enhance public spaces such as squares, streetscapes and markets in a way that will engage tourists and enhance their experience in key towns.
This could include spaces for food and craft markets, areas for town centre events, public art displays as well as orientation and signage to help visitors explore a town’s local heritage.
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, said: "Tourism’s importance as an economic driver for Ireland cannot be overstated.
"It sustains 260,000 jobs across the country and generates revenue in communities nationwide.
Initiatives like Destination Towns, funded through the Government’s Project Ireland 2040, is a great example of how investing in infrastructure can deliver long-term economic benefits for local communities."
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffi, said: "The investment awarded to the towns across Ireland today reinforces the Government and Fáilte Ireland’s commitment to growing the tourism sector and the benefits it brings to regions throughout Ireland.
"I’m delighted to see Fáilte Ireland and the Local Authorities continuing to work hand-in-glove to ensure towns nationwide can fulfil their tourism potential."
Fáilte Ireland’s Destination Towns scheme 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.