Europe

Center Parcs to open 200m euro resort in Co Longford

Center Parcs resort Image copyright Center Parcs
Image caption Center Parcs says the County Longford resort will add €32m to the Irish economy each year

One of the UK's largest holiday resort firms plans to open a 200m euro (£147m) 'village' in the Republic of Ireland.

Center Parcs has agreed the purchase of a 375-acre site near Ballymahon in County Longford where it will build the 2,500-guest capacity resort.

The company says it will create 750 jobs during construction, plus a further 1,000 jobs on opening.

It says the resort will add 32m euro (£23.5m) to the Irish economy every year.

The company hopes to open to the resort to guests in 2019.

Center Parcs currently has five resorts in the UK, offering short breaks in what it describes as a "secluded and natural woodland setting".

Woods

The Irish state forestry company Coillte currently owns the Newcastle Woods site in the country's midlands, and has agreed the sale, subject to planning permission.

The Irish prime minister (taoiseach) Enda Kenny met Center Parcs chief executive Martin Dalby in County Longford today.

The taoiseach said: "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 will be a major addition to our national tourism infrastructure."

Mr Dalby said that only between 10-12% of trees would be removed from woods to build the resort.

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