In 2019, Waterford City and County Council and Fáilte Ireland, as joint funding partners, were awarded grant funding of €3,726,000 for the development of Mount Congreve House and Gardens, under the Rural Regeneration & Development Fund (RRDF) and Project Ireland 2040.
With building contractors Ormonde Construction now on site, works have commenced to develop Mount Congreve, which is home to one of the largest private collections of plants in the world, as a world-class tourist destination.
The works will involve the partial redevelopment and restoration of the Mount Congreve House and will provide enhanced visitor amenities including a new visitor centre, with cafe and retail spaces.
Michael Walsh, Chief Executive Waterford City and County Council said that the investment in Mount Congreve House and Gardens will consolidate its position as one of ‘the great gardens of the world.’
“Not only will the works enhance the house and grounds, it will deliver a world-class visitor centre in the heart of the South East.”
Mayor of Waterford City and County Cllr. Joe Kelly added, “This major re-development project will also open up the heretofore private areas of the house to the public, which is sure to offer a fascinating insight into the history of Mount Congreve.”
It is intended that on completion, the project will deliver a tourism destination that will attract 150,000 visitors annually, an enhanced visitor experience to the gardens and planted woodlands, which are of international importance, investment in the underdeveloped assets on the Estate to generate additional employment and revenue opportunities, along with increased visitor numbers, and ensure the long-term viability of this enormously important visitor attraction.
Mount Congreve Estate Manager Ray Sinnott said, “It’s a great development for the house and the gardens. The beauty of Mount Congreve is that it has a broad appeal to everyone, whether it’s gardeners, historians, tourists or our friends and neighbours. This development will throw open the gates of the estate to over 150,000 visitors each year and allow them to get a sense of the history of the house and the care and attention that has gone into the gardens.”
Orla Carroll, Director Product Development at Fáilte Ireland commented, “Fáilte Ireland is pleased to see work commence on this exciting development to open the beautiful Mount Congreve House and Gardens to the World. The project will create a new, vibrant attraction in Waterford for families and overseas visitors and will reinforce Ireland’s Ancient East as a world-class visitor destination.”
The works to Mount Congreve House are expected to last until summer 2022.