The history and stories behind Wicklow Gaol will be brought to life thanks to a €200,000 development grant from Fáilte Ireland.
As part of its wider strategy to boost tourism and revenue across Ireland’s regions, Fáilte Ireland is providing a series of capital grants through the new Storytelling Interpretation Grants Scheme to improve the quality of animation and storytelling at existing attractions throughout Ireland’s Ancient East.
Successful bids, including Wicklow Gaol, have been recognised for their ability to improve the quality of physical interpretation at their sites through a range of innovative resources including audio guides, video and interactive technology.
Welcoming the funding announcement, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin T.D., said:
“Ireland’s Ancient East attracts visitors from across the country and overseas thanks to its rich history and storytelling. Wicklow is a key player in Ireland’s Ancient East, with a wealth of experiences, culture and heritage available across the whole county, all year round. Grants like this one for the amazing Wicklow Gaol will really help to boost the tourism offering here and, in turn, drive even more visitors and revenue into County Wicklow.”
Jenny De Saulles, Head of Ireland’s Ancient East at Fáilte Ireland, said:
“Visitors from around the world are increasingly expecting more interactive and hands-on ways to enjoy history and heritage – key components of our Ireland’s Ancient East brand. Development grants, like the one we’ve announced today for Wicklow Gaol, are vital in ensuring our tourism offering remains strong and competitive.
“One of the key aims of our Ireland’s Ancient East brand is to drive greater regional growth and a longer season for many businesses. At Fáilte Ireland, we will continue to support tourism businesses across the county to develop a world-class experience for visitors from every corner of the globe.”
Emeir O’Connell, Manager at Wicklow Enterprise Park and Wicklow Historic Gaol said:
“Wicklow County Council and Wicklow Historic Gaol management team are delighted to receive grant support from Fáilte Ireland to further develop the story of Wicklows Historic Gaol through the use of Virtual technology. Wicklow Gaol is a key attraction in County Wicklow in Ireland’s Ancient East and pivotal to the economy of Wicklow town both in terms of customer spend and job creation.
“Tourism growth is a key driver in the strategic plan for County Wicklow. Continually enhancing and developing our products to meet customer expectations is critical for future growth. Staying relevant in the customers and tour operators mind is vital to our success. This grant will allow that journey continue.”
Fáilte Ireland has identified a number of strategic objectives and priorities for Ireland’s Ancient East which target the use of storytelling interpretation to create brilliant experiences and in turn to deliver economic benefits.
These objectives are to:
Deliver engaging world-class visitor experiences that make Ireland’s living and historical culture accessible through the use of authentic stories as a differentiator;
Create and deliver unique visitor experiences based on “living” the history;
Provide the visitor with interpretation in the first language of the target audience, i.e. in English, French, German, Spanish and Italian;
Increase the length of time visitors spend in Ireland’s Ancient East and the amount of money they spend there;
Encourage overseas visitors to stay beyond the traditional tourism season and to visit longer.