FORT Dunree and Head is to be developed into a new world-class visitor experience following an announcement of a €12.5 million investment.
The news has just come from Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin and Fáilte Ireland, the latter putting €9.3 million into the project.
Over the first five years of operation the project will generate €19.5m in direct tourism expenditure supporting 550 jobs in the area. Twelve new jobs will be created at the attraction.
Fort Dunree and Head proposes a compelling visitor experience that will showcase its considerable maritime, military, social and political history, telling engaging stories across each of these facets. Fort Dunree has a distinctive mix of physical assets – the High Fort with watchtowers providing a spectacular 360-degree panoramic view and perspective of this part of Inishowen; one of the best collections of coastal guns in the world; military memorabilia and artefacts and a lighthouse.
The proposed funicular (a type of cable railway which will be the only one in Ireland) will offer visitors a “thrilling ascent” to the High Fort, whilst its descent will provide breath-taking views of Lough Swilly and its surroundings. A further key value proposition is the development of the glass walkway, bridging two elements of the site and providing spectacular views of the natural environment.
Welcoming the news, Donegal County Council’s Director of Community Development and Planning Services, Liam Ward said, “The development of Fort Dunree and Head using this Fáilte Ireland funding will be transformational for the tourism offering in Donegal and the surrounding areas.
“We look forward to commencing the project, which will encourage more visitors, domestic and international, to explore and spend time in this uniquely beautiful part of Ireland. This exciting project has been developed in partnership with the Fort Dunree Military Museum Group, Commission of Irish Lights and other stakeholders and we acknowledge their contribution to this positive development today.”