Three towns selected for heritage project

Fri, Apr 27, 2012, 01:00

Youghal, Westport and Listowel have been chosen to pilot a new heritage project which involves conserving buildings and maximising their tourism potential.

The Historic Towns Initiative for Ireland will be introduced in other locations if these projects are successful.

The plan is being led by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the

Heritage Council and Fáilte Ireland.

Work will now begin in the three towns in Cork, Mayo and Kerry to conserve and protect buildings and find new uses for them where necessary.

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan hosted a forum yesterday to kick-start the plan.

The forum heard that a number of international heritage-led urban regeneration projects had been completed and would provide useful case studies for Ireland.

Mr Deenihan said Ireland’s historic towns were “a significant attraction” for tourists with an interest in culture and heritage.

“The pilot of the Heritage Towns Initiative will aim to preserve existing heritage assets, stimulate heritage-led regeneration and add to the tourism offering of these locations,” Mr Deenihan said.

“The needs of the communities that live in participating towns will remain core to the process,” he added.