TWENTY-SEVEN employees of Shannon Heritage are reported to have accepted a voluntary severance package offer. The redundancies, according to a source based at Bunratty Folk Park, come after two years of financial losses.
In response, a spokesperson for the company said, “Shannon Heritage employs over 360 staff across all its visitor sites in the peak tourist season and is central to the prosperity of the regional economy, delivering significant spin-off benefits to a range of businesses each year. Like all businesses, Shannon Heritage needs to continuously look at ways to improve its operating efficiency.
“As part of this, we introduced a voluntary severance scheme across all our sites, which enables us to restructure how we deliver our services. We continue to invest in our people and facilities to ensure we offer a first-class customer experience.”
The spokesperson added, “Through this voluntary process, we are pleased to have been able to accommodate the majority of staff who applied to avail of this opportunity.
“At the same time we are investing in the training development and upskilling of our remaining staff across all our sites. We have ambitious five-year plans and we need to ensure we are in a position to further invest in our business in the coming years.”
Last year, Shannon Heritage welcomed more than 904,000 visitors to its sites, a 7% increase at its own directly-owned and managed sites, and representing an overall 30% increase when its newest visitor attraction in Dublin, GPO Witness History, which opened last year, is taken into account.
The company recorded an uplift in its turnover in 2016. The company undertook a €2 million capital investment programme to enhance visitor experience at its sites, in particular Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, which underwent a major upgrade, with an extended retail store to accommodate growing visitor numbers, a new café, extended entrance and refurbished admissions building.