Despite budgetary cuts of 10% next year alone, Waterford City Council plans to invest €20m in a new visitors’ centre, manufacturing and retail outlet for Waterford Crystal on The Mall and a further €100m (the latter figure in conjunction with the private sector) in a landmark building close to the Clock Tower to ultimately house Waterford Crystal and a mix of other tourism, manufacturing and commercial interests.
The ambitious 4-year plan, announced at Monday night’s monthly meeting of the local authority, will include the redevelopment of the former ESB offices and surrounding buildings into a flagship heritage centre, along with the redevelopment of ‘heritage assets in the city’s Viking Triangle’. Integral to this will be the opening of undercrofts adjacent to City Hall to the public.
In all, around 100 direct jobs could be created at the new Mall premises, the Manager estimates, with a Waterford Crystal retail outlet occupying the former ESB shop and the manufacture of high-end pieces centring in adjacent former warehouses and a one-time car showroom. Car and coach parking for the new visitor attraction is to be provided in the former City Council yards at nearby Bolton Street.
Initial funding for this element of the project has been secured from the European Regional Development Fund through the Southern and Eastern Regional Assembly’s programme and some €20m is expected to be invested by the City Council into the project.

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