“20 further jobs to be created, bringing total jobs at the site to 200”
Up to 20 new jobs are to be created as a result of an historic agreement just signed between Malahide Castle & Gardens Ltd and Shannon Heritage in relation to the operation of Malahide Castle and Gardens visitor attraction, which are currently undergoing a €10.5m redevelopment. The agreement will see Shannon Heritage, Ireland’s largest operator of tourist attractions, expand its operations out of its traditional home in the Shannon Region for the first time ever.
Malahide Castle & Gardens Ltd is the company formed by Fingal County Council and charged by the Council to oversee the investment which is being made in the Demesne. The new agreement sees Shannon Heritage appointed as the operator of Malahide Castle and Gardens. They will have responsibility for the day to day running of the redeveloped castle including the new museum and interpretation area on the ground floor. The Company will also operate the new visitor centre in the old castle courtyard and the walled botanic gardens, which will open to the public for the first time this September along with the refurbished castle and the West Lawn area. The remainder of Malahide Demesne, including the parkland and public recreational facilities, will remain under the control of Fingal County Council.
In 2013 Shannon Heritage will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first medieval banquet held at Bunratty Castle, Co. Clare, its first visitor attraction. Since then the Company has expanded its portfolio and now operates seven day visitor sites and four evening entertainments in the Shannon Region, ranging from Celtic and Medieval eras to the 19th Century. Over the years the Company has become a market leader in the development and operation of heritage attractions.
During the peak season Shannon Heritage employ 280 at their current attractions. This figure is set to rise once the new Malahide staff are recruited.
Making the announcement PJ Howell, Chairperson of Malahide Castle and Gardens Limited said: “The €10.5 million redevelopment of Malahide Castle and Gardens will establish it as one of the major visitor attractions in the Country. In addition to the iconic castle and Talbot Botanical Gardens, we are adding a new restaurant and retail outlet which will be operated by AVOCA. We are delighted to be working with Shannon Heritage as operators of the visitor facility with their renowned marketing and management expertise.”
“Malahide Demesne has always offered a unique cultural experience and a natural tourist amenity for locals and visitors, and the redeveloped and expanded offering opening soon will make this somewhat undiscovered treasure a truly international visitor attraction,” Mr. Howell added.
Commenting on the announcement John Ruddle, Chief Executive, Shannon Heritage said: “We are delighted to be taking on the operation of Malahide Castle and Gardens which we see as a natural fit with our existing portfolio of day visitor attractions and evening entertainment venues around the Shannon Region. Fingal County Council is doing a superb job in the redevelopment of the castle and we look forward to building on this work to grow visitor numbers, not only to Malahide but to our entire portfolio. This will be achieved by cross marketing initiatives to increase visitors to all our attractions. We are currently recruiting staff for Malahide Castle and we would hope to recruit up to 20 staff on the operations side and in sales and marketing. Recruitment is already underway for certain positions and advertisements for further positions will appear shortly.”
The Malahide Castle and Gardens re-development is jointly funded by Fingal County Council and Fáilte Ireland, who have provided €6.75m and €3.75m respectively. In addition to the 20 jobs announced today, the project is supporting another 100 jobs in the construction phase, with an additional 80 jobs to be created by AVOCA when the scheme is completed.
Ms. Mary Heffernan, Mr. Matt Mc Nulty, Mr. John Ruddle, Mr. Al Ryan, Mr. George Curran, Ms. Fionnuala May, Mr. PJ Howell, Mr. Kevin Halpenny, Ms. Noeleen Mc Hugh, Cllr. Peter Coyle, Ms. Marie Slattery and Mr. Sean Sloyan are pictured at Malahide Castle and Gardens during the announcement of the appointment of Shannon Heritage to manage the newly redeveloped tourism facilities at Malahide Demesne for Fingal County Council.
For further information please contact:
Florence White, Fingal County Council – 087 4141580/ 01 8905998
Nandi O’Sullivan, Shannon Development – 086 2371510/061 710259