Jobs boost with tourist development

A €250 million tourist attraction is to create 200 jobs in Wicklow by 2010.

Property developer, Lalco, was yesterday given the green light by Wicklow County Council to radically expand facilities at the 450-acre Humewood Castle and Estate.

It is estimated that 400 jobs will be created during the construction phase with employment for a further 200 when the development is operational.

The development project will involve the restoration of the 19th century castle, placing it at the centre of a 5-star hotel. In addition a spa and banqueting facility, 57 tourist lodges and 18-hole golf club and clubhouse will also be constructed.

Amenities will include 5km of walking and cycling trails throughout the Estate, clay pigeon shooting, archery and fishing on the estates’ two lakes.

The development company said Humewood will increase the 5-star accommodation capacity of Wicklow by over 50%, adding at least a further 200 premium rooms to the county’s stock through the hotel accommodation and tourist lodges.

John Lally, chief executive of Lalco, said: “The renovation of Humewood will be of significant benefit to the local community in Kiltegan and the wider Wicklow area. We are making a substantial long-term investment to create an exclusive tourist destination for the region. We intend to be fully sympathetic to the heritage and history of Humewood Estate and have worked closely with Wicklow County Council and local tourism interests to ensure our plans reflect this. Our overriding aim is to restore Humewood to its former glory allowing a new generation to experience its character and charm.”

Lalco’s hotel division has already developed three 4-star hotels in Dublin, Limerick and Galway which operate under a management agreement with the Hilton Group but remain under its ownership.

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