New Knowth visitor experience opens at Brú na Bóinne
A NEW visitor experience at Knowth, Co. Meath which will drive job creation and tourism recovery in the Ireland’s Ancient East region, has been officially opened by Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media Catherine Martin TD and Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW) Patrick O’Donovan TD.
Fáilte Ireland has invested almost €1.4million into the new tourist attraction.
Through the partnership with the National Monuments Service and the Office of Public Works, which manages Knowth as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Property of Brú na Bóinne, visitors to Knowth will be welcomed for a greatly extended season for the first time.
The enhanced experience includes improved interpretation to tell the story of the history of the 50-year archaeological excavation of the site by Professor George Eogan, the significance of the site’s Megalithic art and its importance in national and international terms.
Fáilte Ireland estimates the development of the visitor experience at Knowth will support 266 additional jobs in the Meath area and generate €1.6million in additional tourism revenue over 5 years.
Commenting at the launch, Minister Catherine Martin said: “Knowth is one of the most culturally significant sites in Ireland, and indeed Europe. The new visitor experience will allow domestic and international visitors to step back in time and immerse themselves in our rich Megalithic culture. This attraction will add another unique element to the tourism offering at Brú na Bóinne, encouraging more people to visit Meath and the surrounding region, and generating significant economic impact for the area.”
Minister Patrick O’Donovan said: “Thanks to this investment, we are able to further enhance the visitor experience in the Boyne Valley by providing accessible and accurate interpretation of this prestigious archaeological site. Knowth, Newgrange and the Boyne Valley region are among Ireland’s greatest cultural and tourism gems, whose significance is known the world over.
Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland added “For tourism to recover we must have stand out attractions to entice visitors, domestic and international, to explore Ireland.
“The new visitor experience at Knowth will attract more visitors to the region, support new jobs and has been executed in a sustainable way to ensure this historically important site is preserved for generations to come.
“We predict Knowth will support 266 additional jobs in the Meath area and generate €1.6million in additional tourism revenue over 5 years.
“It will also relieve some of the existing pressure at Newgrange by offering visitors an additional experience, as well as extending visitor dwell time in the Boyne Valley.”
Knowth, which makes up part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Brú na Bóinne, is a major repository of megalithic art, containing more than half of the known megalithic art in Europe in one single location.
The new Knowth visitor hub is a continuation of the upgraded Brú na Bóinne visitor experience offering a large digital exhibition exploring the rock art of Knowth and accompanied by engaging interactives and audio visuals.
The investment includes toilets and an upgraded OPW parking facility to accommodate a new fleet of electric buses developed using sustainable tourism principles to minimise visitor impact to the site.