• Cyril McAree

Fáilte Ireland Launches New Horizons 2018 Grants Scheme for Skellig Coast

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin today launched the Fáilte Ireland New Horizons 2018 Grants Scheme to develop and improve visitor experiences along the Skellig Coast, Co. Kerry in the Ring of Kerry Hotel.

Visitor experiences are key to unlocking growth, particularly in less visited areas. Fáilte Ireland has been working with key stakeholders and tourism businesses along the Wild Atlantic Way in Kerry to create a long term development plan that identifies the stand-out features locally, providing tourism businesses with a framework to present experiences and stories in a way that tourists can easily understand.

Last year, the plan for the Skellig Coast was completed and now the New Horizons 2018 Grants Scheme will provide capital grants up to €200k to fund projects along the Skellig Coast that will support the implementation of this plan, targeting both new and operating visitor attractions.

Speaking at the launch, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin said; “The Wild Atlantic Way has been very successful so far but we need to continue to harness its potential and focus on trying to grow and build on that success year on year with new projects and initiatives. Fáilte Ireland’s long term development plans give local tourism businesses tangible actions to engage tourists, encouraging visitors to stay longer and spend more in the destination, which in turn provides more jobs and revenue for local communities. I’m delighted to launch the Fáilte Ireland New Horizons 2018 Grants Scheme which will give tourism businesses along the Skellig Coast the funding they need to turn the great ideas in their plan into a reality.’

Fáilte Ireland’s Head of the Wild Atlantic Way, Miriam Kennedy, said: “We are delighted to announce the New Horizons 2018 Grants Scheme for the Skellig Coast which will assist new and operating visitor attractions to develop the stand-out experiences identified in the long term development plan for the region. This funding will help local tourism businesses to exploit the area’s recent movie fame and, crucially, drive visitor numbers to lesser known areas and attractions.”

Fáilte Ireland’s vision for the Wild Atlantic Way is to deliver sustainable growth to all areas of the West Coast which will deliver real benefits for local communities and businesses. Fáilte Ireland has also developed a long term development plan for the Connemara Coast and Aran Islands and is currently working with local stakeholders on plans in four other areas along the Wild Atlantic Way; the Burren, Co. Clare, Three Heads (Ballydehob to Kenmare), Co. Cork and Co. Kerry, Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry and Malin Head, Co. Donegal, which are expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

Fáilte Ireland is now accepting applications from tourism businesses in the Skellig Coast area who wish to apply for funding as part of the New Horizons 2018 Grants Scheme. Two workshops will be held along the Skellig Coast on the 21st May for those who wish to apply, details below.

To find out more about the application process and whether your business is eligible to apply for funding, please see: http://www.failteireland.ie/NewHorizonsGrantsScheme.aspx

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