As you know the redevelopment of Malahide Castle is currently taking place. It was anticipated that the new castle development would open in early summer including the visitor centre and AVOCA restaurant and the walled garden and west lawn. AVOCA has advised the Council that they will not be in a position to open the restaurant until early September due to their requirements in the fit-out of the restaurant building which is currently under construction. Having considered AVOCA’s position it is proposed to open the Castle & Gardens in a phased manner.
Phase 1 will involve the opening of the redeveloped Castle including the museum, new interpretation, the impaired mobility access lift to the 1st floor and access to the West Lawn. This phase is on target for opening in the first week of September 2012. It will be necessary to provide a temporary catering concession to visitors in September and October and a plan to address this matter is currently being developed.
Phase 2 will involve the opening of the redeveloped Courtyard including the visitor centre, retail shop and the AVOCA restaurant and shop and the Walled Botanical Gardens. This will take place in October 2012.
While it is regrettable that the entire development will not reopen in time for the tourism summer season it is considered that the phased opening will have a lesser effect on the town of Malahide and its environs and in particular that the phased opening will be more easily manageable having regard to car parking and traffic management in the area. It is hoped that the visitor numbers to the castle will be up to and beyond previous numbers visiting in July and August of previous years. In addition, it is hoped that the AVOCA opening and the opening of the Walled Botanical Gardens and the new Visitor Centre will attract a large local, regional and international audience at the end of the tourism season.
Fingal County Council and Failte Ireland are investing approximately €12m in upgrading tourism facilities, access and signage, and to provide a world class visitor experience.
This ambitious redevelopment Programme for Malahide Castle and Demesne will include:
Read our overview of Malahide Castle.