Builders sought for new visitors centre at Clondalkin Round Tower
PLANS for a new visitors centre at the historic Clondalkin Round Tower have progressed to the next stage.
South Dublin County Council is seeking contractors to carry out the extensive upgrades planned for the landmark site.
It is proposed to build a visitors centre and public gardens.
Five houses will be refurbished and extended on Millview Terrace and Tower Road to host the new centre.
There will be an interactive exhibition telling the story of Irish early monastic life and of the history of Clondalkin.
The building will open on to a public garden modelled on "monastic tradition", say county planners.
The centre will also include cafe and terrace overlooking the gardens.
A local design co-operative will supply a craft shop that will also be opened to visitors.
The €1.6m project was given the green light last year by the council.
It is hoped that, when completed next year, it will attract local and international visitors to the village.
The heritage centre is part of the council's village initiative that hopes to rejuvenate villages such as Clondalkin and boost the local economy there.
Local groups in the area have long lobbied for the Tower to be preserved and developed as a tourist attraction.
Tendering for the project will remain open until October 22.
It is hoped the centre will be open to the pubic in late 2016.