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The formal announcement of two funding allocations of €200,000 and €28,443 for Youghal and Cobh respectively has been welcomed by Cork East Fine Gael TD, David Stanton. The Clockgate Tower in Youghal is to receive €200,000 to allow for it to be open to the public as a museum and interpretive centre and Cobh Heritage Centre will receive €28,443 for the development of a new exhibition on Cobh’s maritime past.

“I welcome today’s formal announcement by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD and Minister of State for Tourism, Michael Ring TD that funding is to be allocated to projects in Youghal and Cobh through Failte Ireland’s ‘New Ideas in Ancient Spaces’ capital grant scheme. The allocations for East Cork form almost a quarter of the €1million funding being made available to 13 projects within the Ireland’s Ancient East initiative”, said Deputy Stanton.

“The Clockgate Tower project in Youghal will result in a permanent interpretative exhibition over four floors of the clock tower. The tour will include costumed storytellers presenting and animating 700 years of history, in addition to storyboards and screen imagery supporting the story. Visitors to the clock gate will be able to sit in a cell, manipulate models, and engage directly with the storytellers. There will also be an audio-visual guide which will enhance the experience for non-English speakers.

“The new project in Cobh Heritage Centre will tell the story of Cobh’s maritime past which is not presently depicted in the heritage centre. The proposed exhibition space will enhance the current exhibition by adding the West Indies story of Irish servants/slaves as a prequel to the main maritime emigration theme. This project also includes the addition of a multilingual self-guided audio tour. The new exhibit in conjunction with the existing facilities and proposed audio tour, will contribute to making the “Queenstown Story” a world class experience for visitors.

“These funding allocations will add to previous investments in Youghal and Cobh and further enhance the tourism product of both towns on the Ireland’s Ancient East Trail. Investment in visitor attractions comes in addition to very substantial funding currently being invested into main drainage and wastewater systems in both towns. The Youghal wastewater project is benefitting from €22.7 million and Cobh main drainage scheme forms part of the €90 million project for Cork Lower Harbour. Both of these projects, once completed, will end the practice of discharging raw sewage into the sea and bring environmental and tourism benefits to Youghal and Cobh.