The newly completed Waterford Crystal Visitor Centre on the Mall opposite the renovated Theatre Royal has led to a new wave of optimism around Waterford city, something that’s been lacking in recent years.
The closure of ‘The Glass’ at Kilbarry last year could well have been viewed as the city’s economic death knell, but the revived Waterford Crystal, though not the company that once it was, could well provide the city with a much-needed kick-start.
While signage around the city itself has been installed to direct visitors to the City’s Historic District and the new Crystal Centre, the National Roads Authority needs to update its signage near the new bridge along a similar vein.
In the heart of the newly labelled Historic District lies the magnificent Theatre Royal, which last Friday hosted the Sun Life Charity Concert, with tenor Ronan Tynan putting on a great show.
The concert raised a total of €30,296 for Waterford Hospice and the South East Cancer Foundation, a tremendous boost for both charities who do such invaluable work within our community.
During the interval, audience members proudly directed their gaze across The Mall at the new Crystal Centre, the sense of hope and optimism about the future palpable among the gathering.
City Manager Michael Walsh, whose sterling work to get Waterford moving again is now evidences in the new WWRD centre, has won deserved praise, with former City Manager Eddie Breen among those offering compliments.
Next Tuesday, the Waterford Crystal Visitor Centre will be officially opened on what promises to be a proud day for this Crystal County of ours.
Already, tourists have been acquainting themselves with our new landmark, with some of the centre’s facilities opened ahead of schedule. To date, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, a portent of what lies ahead, we hope.
A vital step in the ancient heart of the city has been taken. Getting its commercial centre thriving again is a task that many groups, agencies and individuals are already committed to. Positive times surely lie ahead.