News of a possible funding boost for Ardee Castle will be known by the end of the month, with hopes high that the castle could be provided with funding of up to and around €2 million for refurbishment and redevelopment work.
Last summer, Louth County Council applied to Failte Ireland’s Grants Scheme for Large Tourism Projects – applications for funding grants above €200,000 – for Ardee Castle and the Tholsel building in Drogheda.
The scheme is part of Failte Ireland’s Tourism Investment Strategy in which €65 million in grants are available for projects between 2016 and 2021. It sets out to encourage innovation to support the long-term sustainable development of tourism across Ireland.
A decision on the funding allocation was expected in late January but ThisIsArdee.ie understand a Failte Ireland board meeting will take place later this month ahead of an announcement of funding which is expected to include news on Ardee Castle.
Officials at Louth County Council are believed to be confident in a positive outcome for Ardee Castle and should a significant portion of the funding be obtained, that means work could began on the building later this year pending a successful planning permission application and Ministerial approval. To date, preliminary design work has been completed on the project.
The local authority say that pending permissions, work on the detailed design and tender documents can begin but that is subject to funding being made available. That is where the Failte Ireland money could come in.
In 2015, Louth County Council committed €1.2 million to Ardee Castle work but that money was mostly based on development levy income and is not currently in the council’s kitty. Should no funding be allocated by Failte Ireland the prospect of work on Ardee Castle would remain on hold.