In April 2007 Fáilte Ireland, under the NDP, announced funding opportunities for local authorities to develop a set of tourism facilities in the key product areas in 2007. The Fáilte Ireland grant of 75% was matched with 25% of local authority funds. This represented a major opportunity to work in partnership with Fáilte Ireland to develop the infrastructure necessary for success in an ever more challenging tourism market. The three projects undertaken were:
Phase 1 was to prepare the location for the onset of increased visitor numbers through the enhancement of the area by improving its physical presentation through a series of improvements. These included: improving parking facilities, implementing traffic control measures and the provision of soft landscaping in the area.
The project consisted of resurfacing works at the public car park located on Lower Buenos Ayres Drive, introduction of soft landscaping, attractive street lighting thereby increasing the overall attractiveness, appeal and usage of this ample and currently under-utilized parking facility. Strandhill has great tourism potential with a wide variety of activities on offer to visitors including surfing, golf, rugby, equestrian activities and cultural/walking. This project was aimed at increasing the length of stay and ensuring return visits by visitors to this popular seaside location.
Phase 1 sought to improve walkers’ safety and comfort at the hugely popular and well utilised local promenade. The surface of the promenade walkway was restored and street furniture was provided at intervals for people to sit and enjoy the scenic Knocknarea mountains, the islands and Sligo Bay.
The projects adhere to the challenges outlined in the County Development Boards Integrated Strategy and in particular supports Priority 5 Tourism Development - focusing on developing quality tourism products appropriate to its economic, social and cultural characteristics. The projects also support a key objective of Sligo Local Authorities Corporate Plan 2004-2009 promoting Sligo as a tourism destination by facilitating development of tourism amenities in the county.