Ireland's first Center Parcs resort will be a “game-changer for the Midlands”, according to An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
Mr Varadkar today [Friday] officially marked the completion of the landmark €233 million forest resort, Center Parcs Longford Forest. Following an almost two-year construction process the resort has been delivered on schedule and within budget.
Center Parcs Longford Forest will add a new dimension to Ireland’s tourism and leisure market with its year-round short breaks. The resort will welcome its first guests in the coming weeks with final preparations underway in earnest.
During construction Center Parcs created over 750 jobs. As it now enters the operational phase, a further 1,000 permanent Center Parcs jobs have been created in County Longford. The resort will provide a €32m annual boost to Ireland’s economy, adding an estimated €1 billion to GDP in the coming 20 years.
Speaking as he officially marked the completion of the €233 million Center Parcs Longford Forest, Mr Varadkar said: “Eighteen months after turning the sod here in Newcastle Wood, I’m really pleased to be back for the official opening of Ireland’s first Center Parcs. This huge tourism development has the potential to be a game-changer for the Midlands. It will bring unprecedented numbers of tourists to this beautiful part of the country and the €233 million investment which has been made by the company in Longford is almost certainly the largest in the county’s history.
“The creation of 1,000 new jobs will have a positive impact across the region and indeed it was a pleasure to meet some of the new employees here today. The Irish tourism industry has grown steadily in recent years and this addition to our tourism offering will ensure visitors get to experience a part of the country they may otherwise have missed. I wish everyone at Center Parcs well as they prepare to welcome their first visitors from across Ireland and further afield in the coming weeks.”
Martin Dalby, chief executive of Center Parcs, said:“Four years since we announced our plans to expand into Ireland, we all feel an enormous sense of pride and achievement to see the beautiful surroundings of Newcastle Wood transformed into Center Parcs Longford Forest and for Ireland’s families to finally have the opportunity to enjoy a unique forest resort experience.
“This is a great day for Center Parcs and I want to thank our construction partners Sisk and Roadbridge, for helping us to bring our vision to life. Our full team is now in place and are very excited about extending a warm Irish welcome to our guests. I would also like to thank the community of Longford for supporting our journey so far. We look forward to continuing to enhance the community and economy around us here in the Midlands for very many years to come.”
Set amongst 400 acres of woodland, the resort includes 466 self-catering lodges and 30 apartments. Center Parcs Longford Forest will welcome up to 2,500 guests during each short break with three types of lodges for families to choose from. With more than 100 indoor and outdoor activities to choose from, and Ireland’s largest indoor water park, there is plenty to keep the family entertained.