Chamber of Commerce come up trumps with last-minute reprieve
WICKLOW GAOL could receive a last minute reprieve after the local District Chamber of Commerce stepped in with proposals which could see the well known tourist destination remain open after all.
The Chamber have been hard at work behind the scenes working on proposals that will see Wicklow Gaol remain open while Wicklow County Council continue their tendering process to find a private operator.
Chamber President Martina Robinson is adamant that the gaol won’t miss one single day of the upcoming holiday season.
‘We are determined not to let this historic building close for even one season. If the gaol isn’t open for the forthcoming season, it would take us years yo regain the confidence of tour operators, and valuable visitor trade to the town would be lost for a minimum of five years.’
The Chamber have already met with County Council officials to discuss their proposal. Working alongside Wicklow Tourism, the chamber would offer a ‘ holding position’ while the council completes its tendering process. This would see the gaol open for business on April 1 and remaining open for business during the season. It also means they would be able to honour any bookings already taken.
Martina explains, ‘between the Chamber office and Wicklow Tourism we wanted to ensure conti- nuity of the Gaol, and are currently taking bookings and confirming to tour operators that all bookings made will go ahead. On Tuesday we welcomed 15 American tourists to an evening tour of the Gaol. It is very much business as usual.’ The proposal offers a skilled management committee to direct the gaol until Wicklow County Council finds a suitable tender. It also contains a dedicated marketing and financial team.
‘There can be no doubt this is a very big commitment and a serious undertaking by Wicklow Chamber of Commerce. However, we cannot stand by and watch our local economy being dealt a further blow in these already critical times. It would be a catastrophe for our Town were we not to fight for this historic building and Wicklow’s major tourist attraction,’ adds Martina.