Ireland’s government has announced a further $1.1 million (€1m) in funding for Ireland’s Ancient East tourism initiative, the second phase of capital investment in the area’s key historic attractions.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe and Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring made the announcement of the additional funding.

Launched last April, Ireland’s Ancient East is Fáilte Ireland’s latest tourism initiative and seeks to build on the wealth of historical and cultural assets in the east and south of Ireland. The new initiative seeks to give visitors a personal experience of 5,000 years of Irish history through a journey of discovery in a lush green landscape with stories told by the best storytellers in the world. Ireland’s Ancient East stretches from Carlingford, Co Louth to Cork and is intended to match and complement the Wild Atlantic Way in terms of scale and ambition.

Commenting on this further phase of capital funding for the project, Minister Donohoe said, “As this project evolves and grows, I am confident that it will be a perfect complement to the Wild Atlantic Way in the west and that it will generate significant additional visitors, revenue and tourism jobs in the east.”

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring TD, said, “The test of a holiday destination is the experience on the ground. We know that there are great experiences to be had based on our heritage and past but that we can do more to bring these to life.”

The funding is being made through Fáilte Ireland’s ‘New Ideas in Ancient Spaces’ Capital Grants Scheme and is for a further 13 projects within the Ireland’s Ancient East initiative. This second phase of investment brings the total funding under the ‘New Ideas in Ancient Spaces’ initiative to $2.48 million (€2.26m) and comes ahead of a new signage scheme to brand the region which is due to be rolled out in 2016.

This funding under the ‘New Ideas in Ancient Spaces’ Capital Grants Scheme follows a Fáilte Ireland call for applications from interested parties across the region. A further phase of funding in capital supports for the initiative is expected in 2016.

Read more: Ireland’s Ancient East – 5,000 years of history, heritage is celebrated (PHOTOS)

The second phase of investment will see the following attractions receive funds:

- Laois Heritage Trails, County Laois

- Ros Tapestry, New Ross, Co Wexford

- Cobh Heritage Centre, Co Cork

- The Clockgate Tower Youghal, Co Cork

- The Norman Way, Co Wexford

- The Butler Trail, Co Tipperary

- The Lifetime Lab (Steam Centre Visitor Experience), Cork City

- Celtic Tree Experience, Blackstairs Eco Trails, Co Carlow

- Castle Saunderson , Co Cavan

- Louth Adventures, Co Louth

- Ireland’s Ancient Eats, Co Meath

- Glaslough Heritage Trail, Co Monaghan

- 3D Viking Experience, Waterford City

The first phase of investment saw the follow attractions receive funding:

- Titanic Connections, Cork

- Boyne Valley: Waterway through Time, County Meath

- Redevelopment of Powerscourt Visitor Interpretation Experience, County Wicklow

- Athlone Castle – Enhancing the Visitor Experience, County Westmeath

- Hook Lighthouse Guided Tour Experience, County Wexford

- Journeys of Exploration, Anglo Irish Heritage at Blackrock Castle, Cork

- Dunleckney Maltings, County Carlow

- Tholsel Visitor Centre, Fethard, County Tipperary

- Birr’s Anglo Irish and Early Christian Heritage to Life, County Offaly

- Ancient Stones, Untold Stories – St Canice’s Cathedral & Round Tower Interpretation Project, Kilkenny City

- Lullymore Heritage & Discovery Park Ltd - enhanced visitor experience, County Kildare

- The Uisneach Interpretative Centre, County Westmeath