Holiday company Center Parcs has opened its first Irish resort at Newcastle Wood, County Longford, in the middle of Ireland.
The £210m development took two years to build, and is described by Center Parcs as "Ireland’s largest-ever tourism project".
The Longford Forest Center Parcs can accommodate 2,500 people in 466 self-catering lodges and 30 apartments. There are 100 indoor and outdoor activities available year round, including the "Subtropical Swimming Paradise" and an "Aqua Sana Spa".
The project is expected to create, directly and indirectly, 1,000 jobs in the region.
Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s taoiseach, said: "This huge tourism development has the potential to be a game changer for the Midlands. It will bring unprecedented numbers of tourists to this beautiful part of the country and the creation of new jobs will have a positive impact across the region. It’s world-class."
Martin Dalby, Center Parcs’ chief executive, said: "Four years since we first announced our plans to expand into Ireland we all feel an enormous sense of pride and achievement to see the beautiful surroundings of Newcastle Wood transformed into Center Parcs Longford Forest, and for Ireland’s families to finally have the opportunity to enjoy a unique forest resort experience."
London-based consultant Edmond Shipway acted as project manager, cost manager and M&E consultant on the project.
- Edited 19 July to correct an earlier version describing Center Parcs as a Dutch holiday company
Image: Aerial view of Center Parcs Longford Forest