Long-awaited development plans for the first Center Parcs resort in Ireland have been confirmed by the company.
The €200 million resort will have capacity for up to 2,500 guests and will employ up to 1,000 people in permanent jobs when it opens in 2019.
The holiday village is to be built on a 375-acre site currently owned by state forestry company Coillte and remains subject to planning permission being granted.
The holiday village will be located at Newcastle Wood, five kilometres from Ballymahon, County Longford, and 21 kilometres from junction 9 (Athlone) of the M6 motorway from Dublin to Galway.
Center Parcs estimates that the new holiday village will add approximately €32 million to Irish GDP a year when operational.
The new development will include up to 500 lodges, more than 100 indoor and outdoor activities, a spa, restaurants and cafés and the covered sub-tropical swimming centre, with water rides.
Public consultation and information meetings will take place in Ballymahon for local residents and a planning application to Longford County Council will be prepared.
Center Parcs chief executive Martin Dalby said: “This new Center Parcs will have all of the ingredients that have made us so popular with families in the UK for the last 28 years and I am certain that Center Parcs will be a great success in Longford.
“We look forward to liaising closely with the local community during the next few months to fully share our vision and to explain the huge economic and social benefits that a Center Parcs holiday village will bring to the area.”
Irish prime minister Enda Kenny said: “The prospect of 750 construction and 1,000 permanent jobs is fantastic news for County Longford and the Midlands.
“Center Parcs will provide a massive boost to the area and contribute significantly to the local and regional economy.
“This project is a perfect fit with our recently announced tourism policy statement which aims to create 50,000 new jobs by 2025.
“Center Parcs’ family oriented, high quality, year-round facility will be a major addition to our national tourism infrastructure and I wish it every success.”
Gerry Murphy, Chairman of Blackstone Group International Partners, said: “As owners of Center Parcs, Blackstone is delighted to be supporting this exciting project, which adds significantly to our investments in Ireland.
“We look forward to Center Parcs being built and to it generating substantial employment and economic benefits for the region and country as a whole.”