Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD has announced that €1,125,135 in grant funding will be made available for the redevelopment and restoration of Mount Congreve Estate, in addition to €3,726,00 granted in 2019 under the Rural Regeneration & Development Fund (RRDF) and Project Ireland 2040.
The additional funding has been welcomed by Waterford City and County Council.
Michael Quinn, Director of Services for Economic Development, WCCC said “The additional investment in Mount Congreve House and Gardens is not only guaranteed to deliver a world class visitor centre, but also reaffirm Mount Congreve’s ranking as one of ‘the great gardens of the world.’ “
Upon completion, the project will deliver a tourism destination attracting 150,000 visitors annually, with an enhanced visitor experience to the gardens and planted woodlands. Investment in the under developed assets on the estate will generate additional employment and revenue opportunities, along with increased visitor numbers, and ensure the long-term viability of this enormously important visitor attraction.
The re-invigoration of the gardens will create an iconic visitor experience at Mount Congreve, through improvements to the garden infrastructure, establishment of new plant collections and the installation of creative play features that tell the story of Mount Congreve.
To maximise the benefit of the 18th Century mansion house, a new purpose-built visitor hub is in development in the existing courtyard and stables adjacent the eastern wing of the house.
The courtyard area will be covered with a glazed roof, with many of the existing architectural features being retained, and will include a cafe, servery, kitchen areas, retail area and visitor facilities. As well as this, some works will be undertaken to the Main House to accommodate a visitor welcome space with reception area, ticketing, orientation and interpretation pre-show.
A new wetlands area is under construction, the car park area has been fully resurfaced, and works on pathways, interpretation and way-finding elements are all in progress.
Substantial completion of the project is expected to be achieved by the end of summer, with a soft opening planned for early autumn 2022.