Ambitious plans to turn Hazelwood House into a 200,000 a year visitor attraction have been revealed by the estate's new owners in a meeting with the Minister for Arts and Heritage, Heather Humphreys. Ambitious plans to turn Hazelwood House into a 200,000 a year visitor attraction have been revealed by the estate's new owners in a meeting with the Minister for Arts and Heritage, Heather Humphreys.
Sligo mansion to be transformed into tourist destinationSoftware developer’s pledge to restore Hazlewood House is welcomed by heritage society - TheIrishTimes
The gathering last week in Leinster House was facilitated by Deputy Tony McLoughlin fAlso present were her departmental officials and representatives of the Hazelwood House Estate and the new Lough Gill Distillery. The meeting offered Hazelwood's new owners, David and Sue Raethorne the opportunity to brief the Minister with responsibility for national heritage affairs, about their plans to build a contemporary whiskey and tourism business on the estate of the old house which was built in the 1720s, and also to exhibit their ambitious plans to develop the estate into a major national tourist attraction, with Hazelwood House being the centre of their proposals.Key to their overall plans for the estate is the development of a new whiskey distillery business, which will have the biggest whiskey pot stills in Europe on public display. This new whiskey business will be developed in the large unused former Saehan factory, located on the estate. The factory building will undergo a makeover as they seek to use both mirrored and water walls designs, in order to enhance the look of the building and to promote the feeling of being surrounded by nature and the natural environment whilst visiting the scenic location.The building, when completed will play host to an international whiskey production facility, a whiskey visitors' experience tour, restaurants, outdoor adventure activities, a water taxi to take people from Sligo town to the estate and back, large spaces for contemporary art displays, as well as possibly one day holding exhibitions on local topics such as the Spanish Armada and W.B. Yeats.Deputy McLoughlin said:"Minister Humphreys was very impressed with scale and the audacity of the proposed development, and the fact that Hazelwood House was set to be restored once again to its former glory." She also stated to the Raethornes, her admiration for their reasoning and she wished them every success. Deputy McLoughlin added: "I firmly believe that this proposed development at Hazelwood, will ultimately lead to a large boost in the number of tourist visiting Sligo over the coming years and its close proximity to the Wild Atlantic Way route offers even greater opportunities for the estate."After speaking with the new owners on a number of occasions over the last few months, I can confidently state that they are very determined people. For example, I am aware that their vision is that by 2023, Hazelwood will be attracting 200,000 visitors to Sligo per annum. "This is a very exciting prospect for the people of County Sligo and I am looking forward to this figure becoming a reality," said Deputy McLoughlin.The factory was built in 1969, by the Italian firm Snia to manufacture nylon yarn. Later it changed to Saehan Media, a South Korean manufacturer of VHS video tapes. In more recent times, it was acquired by a local consortium, Foresthaze Development, which sought in 2007 to demolish the factory and build housing.Last Saturday, Hazelwood Estate re-opened its gates with a private party to celebrate the opening of 'MAGNETISM', a major contemporary exhibition that has taken over seven rooms of the enormous disused factory on the site.There was live music from Loose Chippings, DJ Sets from David Kitt and Donal Dineen, an open bar by Mary LaScary and food from NY Jung and The Glasshouse. The exhibition will remain in place until September. There is an admission charge of €2.50 with concession of €2.00 and free for children under 12 years. Also, it is free on the first Tuesday of the month,to people living in County Sligo and the opening hours are from 12 noon to 7pm, from Tuesday to Sunday, and closed Mondays.Sligo Champion
Luke Henderson | June 25, 2015 The Hazelwood Estate is set to become a major tourist attraction following the announcement of ambitious plans for the historic site by it’s new owners.Haelwood House (200x113)David and Sue Raethorne outlined their vision during a meeting, facilitated by local TD Tony McLoughlin at Leinster House where they briefed Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys T.D. and department officials, with a restored Hazelwood House taking it’s pride of place as the centrepiece of the project.Among the proposed plans is the establishment of a whiskey distillery business which would be developed in the old Snia/Saehan factory behind the house.The building will also feature a whiskey visitors experience tour, a Michelin starred restaurant and number of different cafés when it opens to the public. Outdoor activities are also being planned as well as a water taxi service which will take visitors between the estate and Sligo Town. Deputy McLoughlin has described the meeting as a success and that the proposals have been warmly recieved by Minister Humphreys. “Minister Humphreys was very impressed with scale and the audacity of the proposed development, and the fact that Hazelwood House was set to be restored once again to its former glory,” he said.“After speaking with the new owners on a number of occasions over the last few months, I can confidently state that they are very determined people. For example, I am aware that their vision is that by 2023, Hazelwood will be attracting 200,000 visitors to Sligo per annum. This is a very exciting prospect for the people of Co. Sligo and I am looking forward to this figure becoming a reality.”
Luke Henderson | June 25, 2015 A new chapter of reclamation will unfold for Hazelwood Estate this Sunday with the launch of a large-scale visual art exhibition in the old Saehan factory. The exhibit, called ‘Magnetism’, will take over seven rooms of the site where the larger than life pieces of art will be displayed, including works by Ireland’s Garrett Phelan and internationally acclaimed names such as Lucy Andrews, Mikala Dwyer, Igor Grubic, Siobhan Hapaska, Aleksandra Mir and Laura Morrison.Key works include Mir’s Plane Landing (2003-ongoing) a purpose-designed helium balloon in the shape and size of a passenger jet plane, Hapaska’s Downfall (2009) which consists of eleven olive trees that hang horizontally in space and continuously shake. The show also features a programme of VHS based artworks entitled REWIND <PLAY> FASTFORWARD selected with an international team of researcher/curators.‘Magnetism’ is an important first step in reopening the gates of the estate, particularly during the 150th anniversary of the birth of W.B. Yeats who had strong associations with Hazelwood. “It is a wonderful place full of treasures of the past and we want to open the doors again for the public to enjoy. We are delighted to be doing this for the first time with Magnetism” said Sue Raethorne, who owns the estate with her husband, David. “The old Snia/Saehan factory was viewed by many as a blot on the landscape of this beautiful Estate, however it has its own unique majesty. A huge industrial space, it will be one of the largest indoor spaces, if not the largest, that visual art has been exhibited in Ireland and we want to harness that, to really make use of the dimensions and capacity available to us and create new memories for the visitor on the Estate.”‘Magnetism’ at Hazelwood Estate opens to the public on Sunday, June 28 and runs until Sunday, September 27. It is open from 12 noon-7pm, Tuesdays to Sundays (Closed Mondays). Admission is €2.50 per adult, €2 for Seniors and Students in full time education. Children under 12 are free of charge. Free admission for Sligo residents on the first Tuesday of every month who bring something with you that has your name and address on it for proof of residence.
Departmental officials and representatives of the Hazelwood House Estate and the new Lough Gill Distillery.
Art exhibition to launch famous estate re-opening
The first step in re-opening the estate takes place this weekend with the official launch of contemporary art exhibition ‘Magnetism’, which runs until September.It is anticipated that this will be the first of many displays hosted by the estate, with special exhibits on topics of local interest such as the Spanish Armada and W.B. Yeats also in the pipeline.