Waterford City and County Council has been successful at the recent Chambers Ireland "Excellence in Local Government Awards", with two category wins, for the Waterford Museums of Time and Silver, and Mount Congreve House and Gardens.
Waterford Museums of Time and Silver took top honours in the 'Heritage and Built Environment' category which celebrates best in class by a Local Authority to promote public interest in, and knowledge, appreciation and protection of local heritage sites. The Museum of Time opened in 2021 with kind donations and support from David Boles, Colman Curran and Liz Clooney, and is the only museum dedicated to horology and timekeeping on the island of Ireland. The Irish Silver Museum also opened its doors in 2021 in the old Deanery Building on Cathedral Square, Waterford with benefactors Noel and Stephanie Frisby generously donating to its establishment and displays.
Mount Congreve House and Gardens, lauded as 'One of the Great Gardens of the World', clinched the title, amid stiff competition, in the 'Supporting Tourism' category, sponsored by Fáilte Ireland. This award highlights the efforts of Waterford City and County Council in enriching local tourism and encouraging community appreciation of regional attractions.
The transformative investment in Mount Congreve House and Gardens has resulted in a world-class visitor experience, as well as a café, and retail offering. The estate also boasts a variety of walking paths, each adorned with creative displays that vividly narrate its long history.
Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Joe Conway said the recognition by Chambers Ireland was a great endorsement of the projects and the Local Authority’s investment in them. He praised the Council's commitment to initiating and advancing such exceptional initiatives, saying:
“I am delighted to see Waterford City and County Council recognised on a national platform for their commitment in initiating and driving such wonderful projects. Both Mount Congreve and The Museums of Time and Silver are very deserving winners in their respective categories. Waterford has an enviable tourism offering, and it is great to see the work of our Council endorsed in the wider community in such a positive way.”
Waterford City and County Council's strong performance at the awards was also highlighted by four other shortlisted projects, in a diverse range of categories.
Alongside its wins, the Council's shortlisted projects included Tramore Town Centre Public Realm Works in the 'Urban Revival' category, and the proactive Ukrainian Refugee Response in the 'Diversity and Inclusion' category. Their innovative communication strategy was showcased in 'A Celebration of Waterford as Ireland's Best Place to Live', shortlisted in the 'Communications' category, while the Council's commitment to environmental sustainability was evident in the 'Climate Change' category with the Business Rates Waiver initiative.
Commending all the projects put forward, Director of Economic Development at Waterford City & County Council, Michael Quinn commented: "Our diverse array of projects reflect our commitment to not only address current community needs but also to proactively shape a sustainable future for Waterford. Each project, regardless of its category here tonight, is a step towards our vision of an inclusive, dynamic, and environmentally conscious city and county."
The Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Awards are sponsored by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and took place in Dublin on November 23rd.