Cork East Fine Gael TD, David Stanton, has welcomed the significant investment made by the Office of Public Works (OPW) in the development and restoration of Annes Grove House and Gardens in Castletownroche to ensure its phased opening to the public.
The OPW has invested over €2.1 million on capital works projects at the site since 2016 including the clearance, development and restoration of the gardens, the provision of toilets and car parking spaces and the conservation of outbuildings. These initial capital works projects are expected to conclude next year. It is envisaged that public access to the site will then begin to be introduced with access to the estate gardens pending the necessary permissions and in line with public health restrictions.
An annual budget of €392,000 is also granted to the site by the OPW to cover pay, general maintenance, machinery costs, and operational services. In addition, the OPW is seeking to develop a visitor experience at Annes Grove and has recently secured a Rural Regeneration and Development Fund allocation of €375,000. This funding will be matched by €125,000 from the OPW to progress the visitor experience while also bringing to planning permission the refurbishment of Annes Grove House and associated outbuildings.
David Stanton said: “I have to commend the Office of Public Works and its Minister, Patrick O’Donovan TD, for the significant investment being made to develop Annes Grove House and Gardens into a major regional attraction. Since its handover to the OPW, the ambitious works programme has seen the site begin to transform into an attraction similar to Doneraile Park and I have no doubt that it will prove to be as popular with both locals and visitors when it begins to open.
“Given the scale of the investment by the OPW, I recently invited Minister O’Donovan to visit Annes Grove to see first-hand the transformative change that is being undertaken. The Minister was very impressed with the house and gardens and the long-term vision for the site’s development as an important historical amenity which will further boost the heritage of the area. The project to create a visitor experience onsite and to refurbish Annes Grove House and buildings remains ongoing but the Minister has confirmed that it is expected that the OPW will submit a planning application later this year”, concluded David Stanton.