The new €200m Center Parcs Holiday Village planned for Newcastle Wood outside Ballymahon will be known as ‘Longford Forest’ prompting Longford County Council Cathaoirleach Cllr Gerry Warnock to say that the ambitious project is ‘going to be seismic for Longford and for the entire midland region.’
The new brand was officially unveiled by Center Parcs CEO Martin Dalby yesterday when he addressed a delegation of local councillors, TD’s and journalists who visited the company’s Woburn Forest resort in the UK.
The delegation, indeed, almost never made it as a fire which broke out at Dublin airport meant their flight was delayed by a number of hours.
Mr Dalby said they are delighted with the name ‘Center Parcs Longford Forest’, adding that it will boost Longford’s reputation as a tourist destination.
Reflecting on the trip, Cllr Warnock remarked, “All I can say is that it is unreal.”
The delegation spoke and met with local representatives and business leaders from Woburn, and Cllr Warnock said they fully endorsed the economic benefit that ‘we are expecting here in Longford’.
He added, “The cherry on top was the naming of the resort as Longford Forest. This is instant international brand recognition for our fair county and will finally put us on the map as a significant tourist destination.”
The delegation also took a tour of the site’s accommodation, activities and facilities, with Cllr Paul Ross revealing that Center Parcs Longford Forest will hold further open days on September 7 and 8 in Cooney’s Hotel, Ballymahon.
He described Woburn Forest as ‘a serious operation’.
Cllr Ross remarked, “This park exceeds all expectation and I’m sure Center Parcs Longford Forest will be an unbelievable boost to the midlands. There were 3,500 people in Woburn Forest when we visited and you would hardly notice.”