€11.2m investment announced for four OPW sites

1 Jul 2024

The Office of Public Works (OPW) has welcomed the Just Transition funding to develop four OPW sites: Clonmacnoise, Corlea Trackway, Emo Court and Roscrea Castle.

These projects have been awarded €11.2m through Fáilte Ireland’s Regenerative Tourism and Placemaking Scheme, co-funded by the EU and the Government of Ireland under the EU Just Transition fund.

In keeping with the OPW’s vision for a sustainable and universally accessible future for the State’s heritage sites these projects will see;

• Clonmacnoise – A €7.8m investment in the redevelopment and expansion of the existing visitor centre to transform the visitor facilities and bring the building up to the OPW’s modern energy and sustainability standards.

• Corlea Trackway & Visitor Centre – €262k for the development of a feasibility project exploring the sustainable development of the project and its interactions with the wider destination including developments along the canals and the neighbouring peatlands;

• Emo Court – €187k towards the development of a site assessment to review national and international best practice and prepare site development plan, building on the conservation management plan of the site, which can act as a road map for the future potential development of key activities and visitor experiences;

• Roscrea Castle & Damer House – A €2.97m investment in the development of accessible visitor services, improved visitor interpretation experiences, and improvements to the courtyard and garden facilities at the site.

This project is among the first round of approved investment grants for projects announced by Fáilte Ireland that are being delivered as part of its Regenerative Tourism and Placemaking Scheme, under the EU Just Transition Fund.

The EU Just Transition Fund (JTF) is a new fund created to support the regions and communities in Europe that are most negatively affected by the transition to climate neutrality and to promote socio-economic transition, ensuring that no one is left behind.  

The EU JTF aims to address employment, economic, social and environmental impacts that come with the shift away from carbon-intense activities. The funding programme in Ireland will support the areas in the wider Midlands where communities have been negatively affected by the closure of peat production and peat-fired energy generation facilities.  

Ireland is set to receive up to €84.5 million from the EU Just Transition Fund over the period to 2027. With the Government of Ireland’s match funding using Exchequer resources, up to €169 million will be available in the period up to 2027. 

Investment through the EU Just Transition Fund programme will be targeted to support the diversification of local economies and the creation of new opportunities that complement the assets of the territory. The fund will also restore degraded peatlands and regenerate industrial heritage assets, as well as invest in smart and sustainable local mobility so that local communities are able to benefit from the economic opportunities and amenities.