ROBINSON OPENS �5MILLION HERITAGE PROJECT IN DUNGANNON
First Minister Rt. Hon. Peter D. Robinson MLA has officially opened Castlehill Heritage Park and Arts and Visitor Centre in Dungannon. The refurbishment of the old Belfast Bank in Market Square in Dungannon and the landscaping of Castle Hill projects form a �5million investment to provide the Hill of the O扤eill and Ranfurly House Arts and Visitor Centre and the development of a public heritage park on the site of the O'Neill stronghold on Castle Hill. Dungannon & South Tyrone Borough Council invested �6million in the project with �3million funding secured from the Heritage Lottery Fund. A further �0,000 was provided by the Arts Council and �,000 from the NI Environment Agency. Speaking at the official opening the First Minister said:
揑 welcome that this important historical site is open to the public for the first time in hundreds of years. I have no doubt that this centre and park will become a 憇ignature� heritage project for the area, and a 憁ust see� visitor attraction for both local and foreign visitors to Northern Ireland.
The Executive has set itself the task in its Programme for Government of increasing Northern Ireland抯 visitor numbers to 4.2 million and tourist revenue to �6 million by the end of 2014.
It is projects such as Titanic Belfast, the Giant抯 Causeway and these here today that give us the confidence to aim high.�/EM>
Note to readers
1. The Castlehill site, situated on a natural hilltop in the centre of Dungannon town, was once the medieval stronghold of the O扤eill Lordships, the residence of Plantation of Ulster Commissioner Sir Arthur Chichester, and the site of a Ministry of Defence security base. The new centre now provides access for members of the public to this historic site for the first time in hundreds of years.
2. The project also involved refurbishment of the old Belfast Bank in Market Square to provide a Visitor and Arts Centre in the centre of Dungannon which is now known as 慠anfurly House�.The Visitor and Arts Centre provides a physical gateway to the important archaeological site of the O扤eill stronghold on Castle Hill.