National

Major blow as award-winning tourist attraction set to close

Big loss to Kilkenny city's tourism offering

Mary Cody

Reporter:

Mary Cody

Email:

mary.cody@iconicnews.ie

Update: Diageo say 'impossible to adapt the Smithwick's Experience for it to be a viable business'

The Smithwick's Experience

One of Kilkenny's top and much-loved tourist attractions is set to close.

The Smithwick’s Experience is closing permanently resulting in the loss of jobs and the knock-on impact on Kilkenny's tourist offering.

The award-winning tourist attraction was a favourite among visitors to the city and was also loved by locals as it told the social history of the Smithwick's brewery in Kilkenny and the closure came as a huge shock.

The Smithwick's Experience been closed since March 2020, the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, and has been unable to open due to restrictions, social distancing requirements and the lack of international visitors, which has been the mainstay of the centre.

A spokesperson for Diageo said that the company is saddened to announce the closure.

"Over the past 12 months we have evaluated all available options, but unfortunately we have come to the decision that it is impossible for us to adapt the experience for it to be a viable business and experience going forward.  As a result we are saddened to announce that the Smithwick’s Experience Kilkenny will be closing permanently.

"Smithwick’s is proud of its Kilkenny roots and its strong connection to the people and the city. We are going to take this time to look at a range of options for the long-term sustainable future for the building; to support Kilkenny’s vibrant creative culture and growth economically and socially. We remain committed to supporting the pubs and bars of Kilkenny and the wider South East region as they re-open."