Athenry Receives Heritage Status – August 1996

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Tourists will be able to use the new Athenry Interpretive Centre in June 1997, it emerged this week after Tourism Minister Enda Kelly confirmed funding of £235, 000 for the project under the Operation Programme for Tourism.

However, in order to avail of the grant, Athenry which has already raised over £30,000, will have to come up with an additional £20,000 inside the next four months to meet the criteria laid down by the administrators of the Programme.

If they manage to raise the money, work will start on the construction of an Interpretive Centre inside St. Mary’s Protestant Church before the end of the year, and the refurbishment is expected to take over six months to complete.

According to Athenry Heritage Association spokeswoman Madelyn Brody, the grant is the result of three and a half year’s work, but it is still far from secure.

“The total project will cost in the region of £323,000 and the Eu will fund 75% of this which leaves £80,000 to be raised. Galway County Council are contributing £30,000 and as local fundraising has generated £30,000, an additional £20,000 is necessary if Athenry is to benefit from the grant. So fundraising will continue,” she said.

“The opening of the Interpretive Centre will be a huge boost to the area and will have a substantial spin-off. It will also help us market the whole area of East Galway as a package.” She is confidant the money will be raised and that the association will be able to apply for planning permission in the Autumn and that the tendering process and construction will commence before the New Year.

Because the town has been granted heritage status, new signs detailing the town and its status will be erected on all major roadways leading into Athenry, as well as directing tourists off the national roads which pass by.

It is envisaged that the erection of these signs will also start sometime next Spring.

(Extract from Tuam Herald 6-7-1996)

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About this record

Written by Tuam Herald 06.07.1996

Published here 04 Nov 2022 and originally published 1996

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