Kildare Town will be allocated significant funding by Fáilte Ireland to develop its potential as a tourism ‘destination town’.
The funding has been allocated through Kildare County Council as part of the €15.5million ‘Destination Towns’ initiative launched earlier this year by the National Tourism Development Authority.
The Destination Town project in Kildare will deliver a complete upgrade of the Market Square with a vibrant and pedestrian-focused civic space.
The project will improve the attractiveness of the square and upgrade it in a way that connects the town’s heritage assets, making it a focal point for visitors.
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 T.D. confirmed today that every county in Ireland will benefit and the first round of allocations, including Kildare 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 scheme, 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 Ireland, 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 T.D., 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.”