New €10.2 million Atlantic museum set to “transform the Spanish Arch district of Galway”
One of the most famous locations in the west of Ireland is about to get a new look.
Fáilte Ireland has announced plans to redevelop the Galway City museum in a project that will cost €10.2 million in total and completely transform the Spanish Arch district in the city of the Tribes.
The National Tourism Development Authority will spend €6.64million, the single biggest investment by Fáilte Ireland, to develop a new state-of-the-art museum that will be redeveloped and rebranded as the Atlantic Museum Galway.
The Fáilte Ireland investment comes under its Grants Scheme for Large Tourism Projects 2016-2020, while the total project cost, including funding from Galway City Council, will be €10.2 million.
Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Attractions Mary Stack says that the investment will “transform the Spanish Arch district of Galway City” and it is expected to generate €29.3 million in revenue for the region in its first five years of opening.
As a result of the redevelopment, the square between the Spanish Arch and the existing museum will be remodelled into a new public space that will bring all elements of the attraction together.
Artist's impression of the new Atlantic Museum Galway
Central to the new tourist attraction will be a viewing point at the top of the Spanish Arch to allow visitors to take in the spectacular vista of Galway Bay, the Claddagh and the River Corrib.
Seán Kyne TD, Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for Gaeilge, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, made the official announcement at a special event at Galway City Museum on Friday morning.
The new three-storey interactive museum will be created at Comerford House, next to the current Galway City Museum, which stands on the left bank of the River Corrib.
It will highlight the influence the Atlantic has had on the people, cultures and traditions of the once known ‘Merchant City’. Through cutting-edge technology, visitors will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the history of the merchant tribes, Claddagh Basin and Spanish Armada.
Commenting on the announcement on his visit to the museum, Kyne said: “The Atlantic Museum Galway will be a hugely significant new attraction for Galway, the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland.
“Projects like this, and many others across the country, are critical not only for regional growth but for reinforcing Ireland’s reputation as a top-class visitor destination.”
Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Attractions, Mary Stack, added: “Tourism is a sector that has seen significant growth in recent years, but we are facing uncertainty with Brexit on the horizon. It’s even more important now that we develop new visitor attractions to give overseas tourists compelling reasons to visit Ireland.
“The Atlantic Museum Galway will be a game-changer for the region both in terms of the visitor numbers and revenue it will generate. It is just one of 47 large capital projects Fáilte Ireland is supporting across the country.
“Tourism is a highly competitive business and with attractions like this, Ireland will continue to stand out in the international marketplace.”