Clare County Council have received approval to proceed with construction works at Vandeleur Walled Garden in Kilrush.
Additional funding support of €250,819 from the Department of Rural & Community Development has been made available bringing the overall Department funding to €1,975,819.
The project is funded by the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, Project Ireland 2040 under the Department of Rural and Community Development with match funding by Clare County Council. The news came following Clare County Councils application to proceed with the scope of works tendered and a request for additional funding to address accessibility and other ancillary costs within the existing Centre.
The tendering process was completed in 2020 and Custy Construction ltd have been appointed to carry out the works. The preparatory enabling works package commenced in January but works ceased temporarily due to Level 5 restrictions on construction. The works include an interpretive museum, multifunction room, shop and new gardener maintenance building along with the development of a new visitor experience design and approach for the complex which includes work to protected structures.
Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Cllr. Mary Howard noted ‘The approval to proceed with the restoration and renovation of the old stable block and the works at Vandeleur Walled Garden centre is very much welcomed and I look forward to the new visitor experience which will further enhance this wonderful woodland location in West Clare. The completed project will be a great asset to the local community and tourism in Clare addressing the objectives of the Clare Tourism Strategy 2030’.
‘Clare County Council welcomes the ongoing support of Minister Heather Humphreys for this project and the Council is committed to ensuring that the investment in Vandeleur, which is part of an overall Visitor Development Strategy, maximizes the use of this important heritage asset and ensures that the Vandeleur Walled Garden is best placed to help with recovery following the impact of the pandemic on our tourism sector’ commented Pat Dowling, the Chief Executive of Clare County Council.
Noel Kilkenny, Chairperson of Kilrush Amenity Trust noted ‘on behalf of the Kilrush Amenity Trust ltd, I would like acknowledge the ongoing support from the Department of Rural & Community Development, Coillte, the staff and management of the Centre, Clare County Council, the design team and our loyal customers and visitors without whom the venture would not exist. The Trust are excited to see the Visitor Development Strategy come to fruition and are committed to supporting the Council in the delivery of this project. This is good news for Kilrush and adds to the expanding tourist amenities in West Clare’.
The Vandeleur Centre, the Walled Garden and the Woodland Bistro Café will remain open to the public during the construction works subject to government restrictions. It is anticipated that the works will commence on site following Level 5 restrictions being eased for construction. See www.vandeleurwalledgarden.ie for more information on opening hours.
Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey has welcomed the allocation saying: “This funding will enable Clare County Council to develop an exciting visitor experience on the historic Vandeleur Estate, which will be a huge asset to West Clare.
The project includes an interpretive museum, multifunction room, shop and new gardener maintenance building along with the development of a new visitor experience design and approach for the complex which includes work to protected structures.”