The funding is being made available under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund and is in addition to the €3,726,000 awarded to the project in 2019.
Waterford Fine Gael Senator John Cummins has warmly welcomed a significant funding announcement for Mount Congreve House and Gardens. Speaking following the announcement by his party colleague Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys; Senator Cummins said, “I am delighted to have been informed by my colleague Minister Humphreys that her Department will be contributing an additional €1,125,135 towards the redevelopment and restoration of Mount Congreve Estate to create a superb world class visitor experience.
Senator Cummins said “This is a project which I have fully supported from the outset because I see the significant added value the proposition will bring to the tourism and hospitality sector in Waterford. Mount Congreve is an amazing amenity, but this is about bringing it to the next level and realising the vision of Ambrose Congreve who generously transferred his estate to a trust for the benefit of the people of Ireland. When completed, it is expected this investment will create 25 Full time, 20 part-time jobs and generate €15.52m in direct expenditure into the local economy over the first 10 year operational period by increasing the number of visitors to 134,000 per year.
He added “This significant additional funding is in response to a request by Waterford City and County Council to support the additional costs which have been encountered as a result of a change in approach to the project which will now see the visitor centre being located in Mount Congreve House rather than in the Dairy area which is where the current access point is located. I understand that it was decided following extensive dialogue with the design team and Failte Ireland that this approach would give a more central access point to the gardens and would be more desirable from a tourist point of view.
Senator Cummins added “I fully support the approach taken. It will be excellent to have elements of the house reopened and I am delighted to have worked with my colleague Minister Humphrey’s to deliver this funding for Waterford. It is a further example of the significant level of support which is there within government to provide Waterford City and County Council with the funding required to deliver projects of scale and substance which will grow and expand our amenities for the betterment of tourists and locals alike.
It is understood that a substantial amount of work has been undertaken already. Contractors are currently on site at the new visitor centre at Mount Congreve House with works expected to conclude by the end August. The new wetlands area is under construction, the carpark area has been fully resurfaced, and works on pathways, interpretation and wayfinding elements, as well as the play features throughout the estate are all in progress.
Senator Cummins said “I am informed by the Economic Development team, led by Director of Services Michael Quinn that substantial completion of the project is expected to be achieved by end of August with opening in early Autumn. This is fantastic news for Waterford and the South East. Mount Congreve is a wonderful attraction and is yet another jewel in the crown for Waterford’s tourism offer.