Waterford Viking Triangle Progress Report Published
Significant progress reported in development of civic quarter in Ireland’s oldest city
- Public private initiatives improving tourism offering and increasing visitors
- Strategic plan on target
Waterford City & County Council and the Waterford Viking Triangle Trust published the first progress report on this ambitious urban regeneration and development project in Ireland’s oldest city. The report details the activity, which has taken place in this historic area, which had not been in active civic use since the early 1900s.
Several landmark projects have been developed or established to anchor this civic and tourism quarter:
- Kite Design Studios a stylish modern building on the corner of Peter Street showcasing the work studios of talented local designers, complimented by an attractive retail showroom.
- The House of Waterford Crystal a new sparkling gem to celebrate our crystal-making history. The facility is pumping new life into Waterford’s Viking Triangle and assisting in the establishment of Waterford, the oldest city in Ireland as a true visitor destination.
- The multi award winning Medieval Museum was opened to the public in August 2012 incorporating the 13th century Choristers Hall and the 15th century Mayors Wine Vault.
- The Bishops Palacea fine example of a stone built town house dating back to 1743, originally the Anglican Bishop’s residence designed by Richard Castles is now home to a fine collection of artefacts from 18 and 19th century Waterford.
- Already Waterford Treasures has welcomed in excess of 55,000 visitors to see the world class collection of Viking and Medieval artifacts including “The Great Charter Roll”, “The Cloth of Gold Vestments” & the oldest piece of Waterford Crystal in existence in the world “The Penrose Decanter”.
- Cathedral Square currently being regenerated, will result in the reinstatement of the original 18th century character of the area with a vibrant residential & commercial element.
- The Viking Long Boat built by the talented FAS local training initiative which sits majestically beside The 12th century Reginalds Tower though to be the oldest civic urban structure in the country.
In addition, Waterford’s range of high quality year round festivals are now animating the Viking Triangle and the wider city with family focused activities and events including:
- Spraoi: International Street Arts Festival
- The Harvest Food Festival
- The Festival of Architecture
- The Imagine Arts Festival
- The Jazz Weekender
- Winterval magical Christmas Festival
According to Fiona McHardy CEO of The Viking Triangle Trust “The idea for the regeneration of The Viking Triangle area of the City as the cultural and heritage quarter came from the vision of Waterford City Council & Failte Ireland. Their recognition of the need for Waterford City to develop a signature visitor proposition & experience in order to benefit from the economic value of the developing tourism industry is already demonstrating positive results with 225,000 overseas visitors to Waterford in 2013 generating 49 million euro.”
This planning and investment in The Viking Triangle area is paying off. In 2013 there were more than 180,000 visitors to The House of Waterford Crystal. Already we are seeing renewed vibrancy and enthusism in the area with many new independent retailers including ” Country House Gifts”, “Willow & Wild”, “Flagstone”, “Tower Gifts”, “Larder”, & “Sparkle Closet”.
“We are happy to hear that WVT is playing a part in a source of local pride and visitors are beginning to enjoy remarkable changes as a result of the development of our emerging cultural and heritage quarter. We all remember the ugly landmarks around our City which one by one are being replaced by attractive and visually pleasing alternatives: The Court Services building is a long distant memory and now the majestic Viking Longboat sits next to Reginald’s Tower the oldest civic urban structure in the country.”
“We recognise the potential of the economic value of the tourism industry and realise that by reinventing ourselves & presenting our city by packaging our unique cultural and heritage attractions we can complement our city centre retail offering and all stakeholders can benefit from the economic returns.” Fiona added.
Gary Breen, Head of Operations, Failte Ireland said: “tourism continues to be one of the big contributors to our export led recovery. Building on a 12% revenue growth from international markets in 2013, we have seen an increase of 9% for the first 9 months of 2014 – and this success story is reflected in the growth in visitor numbers to Waterford which is, in great part, thanks to the success of the Viking Triangle.”