Shannon Development is seeking investors for a major visitor attraction, the Bunratty Landbank project, on a 48-hectare (120-acre) site next to the world famous Bunratty Castle and Folk Park in Co Clare.
Dr Vincent Cunnane, Chief Executive of Shannon Development, said: “Shannon Heritage, our tourism subsidiary company, owns and manages Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, which is already a major international visitor attraction. It attracts 400,000 visitors annually and contributes an estimate €20 million in spin-off revenue for the area annually.
“We want to see a new generation of project ideas that will continue to enhance Bunratty and the Shannon Region’s reputation as an international visitor destination. The Bunratty Landbank project forms part of our overall tourism product development strategy, which this year will see work start on a €5.7 million re-development of King John’s Castle in Limerick.
The Bunratty Landbank initiative was recently launched in the USA as part of an overall investment campaign for the Bunratty project and other tourism initiatives in the region. The US investment and promotional initiative included a series of meetings and presentations with members of the North American Advisory Council, a network of high-powered Irish people with business or family ties to the Shannon Region, whom Shannon Development signed up to act as business ambassadors for Ireland and the Shannon Region. The US tourism investment drive also involved meetings with business interests with Irish connections, including Irish Network Seattle.
Flan Quilligan, Tourism Product Development Manager, Shannon Development, added: “We believe that a significant opportunity exists at our Bunratty landbank site to develop complementary and sustainable visitor facilities and attractions that are in keeping with the authenticity of the existing visitor attraction and surrounding area. The site is zoned for tourism development by Clare County Council and we look forward to receiving expressions of interest and a range of potential project ideas.”
Research carried out by Shannon Development has identified a number of possible suitable projects for the site, among them a diaspora visitor centre and genealogy centre, and a themed family adventure park.
Interested parties can make a submission around the Bunratty Landbank site as part of a two-stage tendering process and full details are available on the etenders.gov.ie website.
The closing date for expressions of interest is 30th March 2012.