Up To €75m Planned To Be Invested In Planned Redevelopment Of Co. Mayo’s Westport House And Estate And Hotel Westport

Up to €75 million is planned to be invested in a planned redevelopment of Westport House and Estate and the adjacent Hotel Westport.

According to The Irish Times, the Hughes family behind the Portwest clothing group is planning to invest as much as €75 million the hotel and house and estate, which will be integrated as one project.

Plan Details

It reportedly is hoped that the overall development will make the estate one of the west of Ireland’s largest tourist attractions, and attract 300,000 visitors per year within the next four years.

The Hughes family acquired Westport House in 2017 after it was put up for sale by Nama for €10 million, and it reportedly secured €20.2 million in state funding this week towards a €36.1 million public-private partnership (PPP) project to build several new attractions on the estate, including a Wild Realms grand horticultural project in association with landscape designer Mary Reynolds and a Wild Heart exhibition focussed on historical figure Grace O’Malley.

The PPP reportedly will also involve a revamp of Westport House, the remaining €15.9 million reportedly will be invested by the Hughes family themselves.

The Hughes family reportedly will be informed next week if they have been granted planning permission for the first phase of a massive upgrade of Hotel Westport, which would cost almost €20 million and would involve demolishing much of the hotel’s public areas, adding a new ballroom, restaurants, and bars to the hotel, and refurbishing its 129 rooms and its leisure centre.

The overall development for the estate reportedly also includes an additional €5 million that being spent on building improvements for Westport House at present, and there reportedly will also be investment in a new adventure facility on the estate, as well as, in time, a new self-catering tourism facility.

The PPP, which will be overseen on the state’s behalf by Fáilte Ireland, reportedly is planned to completed by 2024 or 2025, and the hotel revamp is also planned to complete by then.

Chief Executive To Oversee The Development Masterplan

The Hughes family reportedly have recruited Barry O’Connor, who previously revamped Dublin’s Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links, was resort general manager at Co. Meath’s Killeen Castle and managed the hotel at Co. Clare’s Doonbeg golf resort, as chief executive to oversee the development masterplan.

O’Connor Statements

The Irish Times quotes O’Connor as saying, “The country needs to build tourism attractions of scale. Ireland currently has an edge in tourism over countries such as Croatia and Denmark, but it needs to invest to keep that edge.

“But the government can’t do it on its own. We need to attract private investment into large-scale tourism attractions and the PPP model helps to make that happen.”

According to The Irish Times, O’Connor also said that he hopes that the Westport development will help to “pull more visitors up” to the area from Galway.

Original article by Dave Simpson on hospitalityireland.com

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