Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Questions (71)

Joe Carey


71. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of the new capital fund of Fáilte Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29570/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

My Department is primarily involved in the development of national tourism policy, while the tourism agencies have responsibility for the implementation of that policy.  While my Department provides capital funding to Fáilte Ireland for investment in tourism product development, it is not directly involved in individual tourism projects or programmes and has no role in the administration of the agency's grant programmes.

As part of the Project Ireland 2040, the Government has committed to invest in the development and enhancement of tourist attractions to provide the type of experience that visitors are seeking. 

In line with this commitment, on 29th May, Minister Ross launched Fáilte Ireland's new capital fund to which the Deputy refers - the Platforms for Growth Investment Programme.  Under the programme, Fáilte Ireland intends to allocate in the order of €150 million in the development of major new visitor attractions of scale across the country.  The first targeted funding call under the programme focuses on large capital projects with a minimum cost of €2.5 million that can provide a "platform" for future growth of the tourism sector in that region.  The theme of this funding call is "Immersive Cultural and Heritage Attractions".  These are attractions that build on our culture and heritage in an engaging way that allows the visitor to get involved and not just be a passive recipient.

This first funding call will close for expressions of interest (Stage One of the process) on 17th July.  There is a deadline of 7th August for the submission of project ideas (Stage Two) by those applicants who have successfully passed Stage One.  There are three further stages in the process, culminating in a project delivery phase for successful applicants.  

I am aware that Fáilte Ireland has held a series of workshops around the country to support applicants, which I understand have been very well attended.  Workshops continue to be held every week in Fáilte Ireland's offices both in Dublin and Limerick and will run until the first closing date of 17th July, at which time all expressions of interest must have been received.