herald

Friday 19 September 2014

Malahide firms feel strain after castle upgrade

IT should be the jewel in the crown of any town's list of tourist attractions -- but surprisingly Malahide is not benefiting from its castle's magnificent overhaul.

In fact, concerns have been raised that the newly overhauled Malahide Castle (pictured) and Gardens may be taking business away from the local village centre.

It had been hoped that shops, cafes and restaurants would reap the benefit of an increase in footfall as a result of the €10m revamp of the popular tourist attraction.

Fingal County Council said that more signs would now be provided to encourage visitors to the Co Dublin castle to visit the village, too.

The redeveloped estate opened its doors to the public last October, following major works, which included the upgrading and extension of the craft courtyard buildings to provide a ticket office, museum, toilets and a retail and cafe area operated by Avoca.

Revamp

The local authority pointed out that the signs put up within the site include some to Malahide village, and the venue's website also has a section relating to the village.

It acknowledged the concerns of the local business community and said: "A meeting was held last week with the Malahide Chamber and agreement has been reached in relation to the provision of further signage to encourage visitors to Malahide Castle and Gardens to also visit the village.

"Malahide Chamber has also been advised to provide leaflets and brochures regarding the shops and services available in the village and the management company has agreed to distribute such leaflets and brochures to visitors."

There are also plans to improve the physical links between the development and the village, including the opening of the path from the visitor centre to the Dublin Road entrance and further signs at the town's DART station.

The council said it would continue to work with local business, adding: "The council's architects department and economic development department will continue to liaise with the Chamber of Commerce to encourage visitors to the castle to visit Malahide village as part of their visit."

Meanwhile, outlining the works that were carried out as part of the new development, Fingal County Council said that: "The works to the interior of the castle have improved universal access including the provision of a lift, and a Talbot Family museum has been provided in the ground floor of the castle."

fdillon@herald.ie

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