On 29th May 2019, Fáilte Ireland launched its massive new capital investment programme, Platforms for Growth. The programme will run from 2019 to 2022 and is worth €150 million, making it the biggest investment programme of this kind. It will focus on improving tourism by providing grants of €2.5million and upwards to large-scale visitor attractions. The 29th May launch highlighted the first platform, Immersive Heritage and Cultural Attractions. Fáilte Ireland hopes to invest in unique, hands-on experiences that effectively enliven local culture and heritage right before tourists’ eyes. By developing these attractions, visitors can more readily immerse themselves in and interact with Irish culture and life.
When prompted on the necessity behind strengthening this area of tourism, Fáilte Ireland found that 70 percent of tourists will interact with a cultural or heritage attraction during their stay in Ireland. With this clear evidence of high demand, proposals for program grants will be reviewed with three characteristics in mind: it gives Ireland international competitive advantage with its strategic importance to tourism; it fills empty spaces in the current tourist opportunities available; and it has to be based on prior consumer research. At its core, this capital investment programme seeks to develop tourism across Ireland so that more regions can experience the economic benefits and growth that come from this booming industry.
To apply, there are two stages in the process. The first stage requires an expression of interest that then gives you access to the physical application. Interested parties must fill out a form on the Fáilte Ireland website, and their perceived eligibility for funding will determine whether or not they receive the application form. The part of the process closes on 17th July 2019 at 12:00 noon. Late applications will not be considered.
Stage 2 consists of completing the application, which you will receive through an email invitation. Fáilte Ireland’s Trade Portal will host the application, and only applications submitted through this means will be evaluated and potentially awarded funding. Applicants also have to attend a mandatory workshop before submitting the Stage 2 Application. Failure to complete the workshop automatically renders you ineligible. You can register for a workshop by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, and all workshops run from 10:00 to 13:00. The last is being held today, Thursday 20th June, at the Harbour Hotel in Galway City and at the Gibson Hotel in Dublin. If you missed the prior workshops but still feel you have a strong idea for a platform, Fáilte Ireland has considered putting on additional Applicant Workshops if there is high demand. You can check back here for updated dates and other information.
Stage 2 Applications close on the 7th of August at 12:00 noon.
Falling under the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 strategy, Fáilte Ireland’s Platforms for Growth presents a remarkable opportunity to develop the best cultural and heritage sites of Ireland for both locals and tourists to enjoy.