TOURISM

Tipperary drinks company Bulmers to establish €2 million visitor centre in Clonmel

Eamonn Wynne

Reporter:

Eamonn Wynne

Email:

ewynne@nationalist.ie

Bulmers visitor centre

Above - At the site of the proposed new Bulmers visitor centre at Dowd's Lane, Clonmel are, from left, Alan Roche, general manager, Bulmers; Tom Regan, facilities manager, Bulmers; Michelle McHugh, HR manager, Bulmers; District Administrator Anthony Coleman and Cllr. Michael Murphy

A site that’s steeped in the rich history of cider-making in Clonmel is about to be transformed.

A new Bulmers visitor centre will be established at Dowd’s Lane at a cost of more than €2 million.

The centre will be an integral part of the Flights of Discovery tourism product being prepared for Clonmel, and it’s hoped that it will open in late 2020 or early 2021.

“Bulmers is very committed to the town and to this project”, says Alan Roche, general manager of Bulmers.

 “The company is embedded in the local community”.

“There’s huge interest in Bulmers and its products so this visitor centre can only enhance that”, he stated.

Mr. Roche thanked Cllr. Michael Murphy;  Anthony Coleman, District Administrator of Clonmel Borough District Council; and Tipperary County Council for their support for the visitor centre.

Cllr. Murphy said the centre would be “a game changer” for the town centre.

It would be a key element of the Flights of Discovery tourism product and he welcomed the collaboration between Bulmers and Tipperary County Council, which had made it possible.

In particular he praised Bulmers operations director Pat Morrissey and general manager Alan Roche for the roles they had played.

As a former employee of the company, Cllr. Murphy thanked Bulmers for its contribution to Clonmel’s economy since 1935.

Anthony Coleman said the visitor centre would be a major attraction in the heart of the town.

It would be the gemstone in the Flights of Discovery, which would also include an interpretative centre at the West Gate, a complete revamp of the County Museum (which is already underway) and the development of Suir Island, the long-term plan for which would include the provision of a bridge linking the island to the town centre. 

Commercial cider production was started in Clonmel in 1935 by William Magner, when he established a successful cider brewery on the site of Thomas Murphy’s brewery in Dowd’s Lane. 

Within 11 years English cider makers Bulmers had purchased the business. The company remained at Dowd’s Lane until the early 1960s, when it moved to its Annerville site outside the town, although Dowd’s Lane remained in use until 2008-09, when it was wound down.

Today Bulmers has a permanent workforce of 165 employees, which rises to 220-230 during the peak summer season.

The company indirectly supports another 200-250 jobs.

Bulmers exports its products to 80 countries around the world.

For more Tipperary news read Tipperary schools put the focus on fitness and healthy eating