• Council secures €600,000 in Fáilte Ireland funding for permanent Outdoor Dining facility in Howth

    An application by Fingal County Council for the provision of a permanent Outdoor Dining facility in Howth has been awarded €600,000 in funding by Fáilte Ireland under the Outdoor Dining Enhancement Scheme.

    The Council is planning to create an all-weather dining area in the shape of a Viking ship which will be located at Howth Harbour and could be used for both dining and events.

    The project is one of 38 in 19 counties across Ireland which have received €9million in funding from Fáilte Ireland to create permanent Outdoor Dining facilities and Minister Catherine Martin made the official funding announcement during a visit to Howth on Wednesday.

    With funding for the project now secured, Fingal County Council will proceed to develop detail plans before moving to seeking planning permission which will include public consultation.

    The Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Seana Ó Ródaigh and the Chair of the Economic Enterprise and Tourism Development Strategic Policy Committee, Cllr Tony Murphy were joined by the Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, AnnMarie Farrelly, and the Director of Economic Enterprise Tourism and Cultural Development, Emer O’Gorman, at the announcement in Howth.

    Cllr Ó Rodaigh, Mayor of Fingal, said: “I am delighted that the Council’s application for funding for a permanent Outdoor Dining facility has been successful and it will be a great addition to Howth especially as it planned to be used for events as well as outdoor dining.”

    Cllr Murphy, Chair of the Economic Enterprise and Tourism Development Strategic Policy Committee, said: “Outdoor Dining has become very popular across Fingal during the pandemic and there is a need for permanent facilities. Hopefully, there will be further opportunities to seek funding from Fáilte Ireland for similar projects in other parts of the county.”

    AnnMarie Farrelly, Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, said: “I am delighted that our application for funding under the Outdoor Enhancement Scheme has been successful and I look forward to seeing this exciting project move forward over the next few months as it goes through the planning process and public consultation.

    Emer O’Gorman, Director of Economic Enterprise Tourism and Cultural Development at Fingal County Council, said: “We have created a very exciting design that will blend in with Howth’s maritime heritage and which can be used, in all weather conditions, for outdoor dining and events by residents and visitors alike.”

    Fáilte Ireland’s Outdoor Dining Enhancement Scheme opened for applications in March 2021 when Local Authorities were invited to apply for funding to develop streets and public spaces to facilitate year-round weather-proofed outdoor dining in urban tourism centres. 

    Fingal County Council’s Economic Enterprise Tourism and Cultural Development Department submitted an application that proposed the creation of an all-weather dining area at Howth Harbour.

    The design is at concept stage in the form of a Viking ship with the seated area laid out with long parallel benches and tables to represent the rowing positions of the ship. The front and rear of the ship will have tiered benches to represent the bow and stern of the ship and these raised benches will double up as casual meeting areas and audience positions for events, with an excellent raised viewpoint over the dining court.

    In addition to the bow and stern, tiered sides following the shape of the ship will be added. These will double up as additional seating and wind breaks for the diners or audience.

    The proposed roof would be a stretched structure, engineered to mimic a tarpaulin stretched over the ship. This can double up as a support structure for lighting and heating if required.

    Almost €9million has been allocated by Fáilte Ireland under the Local Authority Weatherproofing & Outdoor Dining Enhancement Scheme, which makes up Part Two of Fáilte Ireland’s Outdoor Dining Enhancement Scheme. Part One of the Scheme, relating to Outdoor Seating and Accessories, supported individual hospitality businesses with grants of up to €4,000 for seating, tables and outdoor accessories.

    Announcing the locations that will benefit under this Scheme, Minister for Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport, Gaeltacht and Media, Catherine Martin TD said: “I am pleased to announce the locations of 38 new outdoor dining facilities to be developed around Ireland. The aim of this Scheme is to support tourism and hospitality jobs and help businesses develop new ways of catering for domestic and international tourists outdoors. Access to outdoor dining facilities will continue to be a key part of industry recovery as we look forward to 2022 and beyond.  This scheme further strengthens the Government’s deep commitment to develop tourism and necessary infrastructure nationwide.”

    Paul Kelly CEO of Fáilte Ireland said: “This Scheme supports resilience and survival in the short term and the recovery of the tourism sector in the long-term. Outdoor dining and hospitality will now be a year-round feature of our hospitality offering and businesses need to be supported to facilitate this.  We have already seen the success of the first part of this Scheme, which provided individual businesses up to €4,000 towards the cost of outdoor seating. This second part of the Scheme being announced is implemented in partnership with Local Authorities and will build on strengthening the outdoor dining offering around Ireland, meeting the needs of domestic and international tourists and helping businesses towards recovery.”