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Press Blog

Work starts on new indoor facility

Cork Company MMD Construction has begun work on a new Animal Care and Conservation Centre at Fota Wildlife Park that is supported by a significant investment by South and East Cork Area Development (SECAD).  The new facility, which will house native and globally endangered species, will cost over €600,000 to develop onsite at Fota Wildlife Park, and a grant support of €200,000 is being provided by SECAD.

Sean McKeown, Director of Fota Wildlife Park said “The Animal Care and Conservation Centre is a very important development for Fota Wildlife Park as it will make the wildlife park more of an all-weather attraction, increasing visitor numbers to the park and therefore creating additional jobs here”.  Unlike the existing unique open nature of the Wildlife Park, this proposed facility will provide the public with access to a series of additional indoor areas which will be seen as a great benefit to tourists in cold and wet weather.

Head of Marketing at Fota Wildlife Park Stephen Ryan believes that it could also prove beneficial to other tourism businesses in the area; he said “the new facility will extend our visitor season into the winter months and assist hotels etc. with marketing the Cork destination for winter breaks”. Fota Wildlife Park is currently the most visited tourist attraction in the South West with 377,000 visitors in 2012 and research taken at the park has indication that the park has an annual economic benefit in the region of €167m to the Cork area.

The new development will see the creation of additional jobs at Fota Wildlife Park across a number of areas from animal health and veterinary to animal care and support staff.  This is one of many investments in the Region by SECAD to stimulate job creation, and ensure the viability and attractiveness of the South and East Cork area for visitors and locals alike.

Mr McKeown, Director of Fota Wildlife Park said “This project could not have been undertaken without the generous financial support from SECAD, therefore we would like to thank their CEO Ryan Howard and his staff for the efficient and effective manner with which our application was processed”. Mr Howard added that “As a key tourism attraction in this region and as part of the Ring of Cork initiative, we are delighted to support this special project and to support employment in the tourism and hospitality sector here”.

The building of the new facility by MMD construction is expected to be completed towards the end of this year with visitors getting a chance to experience the new area in early 2014.