Clare County Council today (Tuesday, 30 May 2023) signed a contract with Lambert Smith Hampton to undertake an in-depth review of the Clare-based assets of Shannon Heritage.
The property condition survey of Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, Craggaunowen Bronze Age Park, Knappogue Castle & Gardens, and the retail unit at the Cliffs of Moher Experience will guide all future investment in maintenance, remedial and conservation works at the sites.
The results of the technical audit will be presented to the Local Authority before the end of the year.
Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare County Council, commented, “In order to commence our programme of investment in the assets, it is of critical importance that a detailed technical audit be carried out to determine the scale and nature of appropriate repairs and retrofitting measures that may be required. Clare County Council is committed to investing in the future development of these sites for the benefit of the tourism sector and the wider economy, as well as the communities in which they are situated.”
Leonard Cleary, Director of Tourism Development, Clare County Council, said Clare County Council, as the operators of the four sites, has an obligation to meet the heritage, conservation, and education objectives of the Trustees.
“It is recognised in the wider community and those operating in the tourism sector across Clare that the Trustees have held the mantle of responsibility for the visitor attractions over a long number of years and in doing so, have given huge service to the State,” explained Mr. Cleary.
He continued, “Clare County Council looks forward to building a productive working relationship with all stakeholders, including the Trustees of the Gort Museum Trust, Bunratty Castle and the Bunratty Castle Ownership Trust, the Hunt Museum Trust at Craggaunowen and Knappogue Corporation at Knappogue.”
Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, Craggaunowen Bronze Age Park, Knappogue Castle & Gardens, and the retail unit at the Cliffs of Moher Experience are managed, developed and promoted by Clare County Council as part of its existing portfolio of signature visitor attractions and sites, namely the Cliffs of Moher Experience, Loop Head Lighthouse, Vandeleur Walled Gardens & Visitor Centre, and the Inis Cealtra Visitor Experience.
Niki Alderdice, Director of Building Consultancy of Lambert Smith Hampton, said, “We are delighted to work with Clare County Council in delivering a detailed technical examination of the four sites, and look forward to delivering a full and comprehensive overview of the general health and infrastructural needs of the buildings and properties in question before the end of 2023.”
Aodhagan Behan, Operations Manager at Shannon Heritage DAC, stated, “Investment is required at Bunratty, Knappogue and Craggaunowen. I am very much looking forward to the outcome of this survey and, subsequently, plans being put in place to remediate the sites for the benefit of those who visit and work there.”