Local authority budget of €300,000 for conversion of Merchant House into Visitor Centre

Local Sinn Fein councillor, PJ Carey, has confirmed that a local authority budget of €300,000 has been identified as funding to convert the 16th century Merchant House in Kilmallock into a visitor centre, writes John Barrett.
This follows large-scale works that were carried out to the entire structure by the OPW, replacing the roof and consolidating the southern gable. A draft vision statement for the project has been devised, feasibility study completed and archaeological excavations have been carried out.
“We now need to appoint a quantity surveyor to prepare procurement documents and finalise the lease, as The National Monuments Service of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage are the owners of the site,” Cllr Carey told the Vale Star.

Huge boost to local tourism
“There is a requirement to make an application under the Failte lreland Large Capital Grant Scheme, start the Part8 procedure and design the medieval garden and open-air spaces. The state will retain ownership and develop the 16th century structure at the street frontage, while Limerick City and County Council will simultaneously develop the rear section and its attendant courtyard buildings. After decades of false starts, it is likely that construction will commence in the next 18 months.
This project, when completed, will be a huge boost to tourism in Kilmallock,” the councillor added.