Minister for Forestry and Wicklow TD, Andrew Doyle, has welcomed the progress that is being made on the redevelopment plans for Avondale House and Forest Park and is confident that the attraction will become a major visitor destination on the Ancient East Trail once completed.
“The project now in procurement stage, to be followed by design stages, should commence construction phase mid-2020.
“I am in regular contact with Coillte about this re-development project which is a collaboration between Coillte and Failte Ireland. The nature of very complex tourism developments is such that it does take a long time from approval to commencement of construction on site.
“The planning stages are crucially important for such a development. Avondale, with its rich history, presents a unique proposition, in terms of providing -through this project-a vastly improved visitor experience.
“New plans include an enhanced customer experience of Avondale House and its forest history and a vision for the future of Irish forestry with a new visitor centre as well as a café/restaurant.
“I am looking forward to the start of the design stages which should be in September/October and I welcome that the public is being kept updated on plans through social media platforms and through signage and notifications on site.
“With the existing walks in the area including the Famine Graveyards, a mass path, the Millennium Forest, the Old Mill and Railway viaduct and the banks of the Avonmore river on its doorstep, the re-development of Avondale will hugely complement the tourist offering in the Rathdrum area.”