Ireland’s longest over-water Zip Line creates 15 jobs at Castlecomer Discovery Park

Castlecomer Discovery Park, Co. Kilkenny has created 15 new jobs investing €310,000 in to creating Ireland’s longest over-water Zip Line.

The new Zip Line at Castlecomer Discovery Park is 300 metres long and 35 metres over ground at its highest point. A thrilling outdoor activity the Zip Line is accompanied by two new high-ropes courses called the Octagonal High Ropes Challenge and will officially open in April.

In the current age of digital entertainment, Castlecomer Discovery Park are constantly looking to innovate and add new adventure challenges to attract new visitors and encourage outdoor activities. Last year a record 117,000 visitors came to the park, a number expected to increase by 20 percent this year with the introduction of the new Zip Line and Octagonal High-Ropes Challenge.

Castlecomer Discovery Park currently employs a core team of four staff with nineteen seasonal employees. The development of the new activities will see the core team increase to five full time employees and 33 seasonal staff employed this season (April to November), creating 15 positions. This includes the appointment of a full time Outdoor Activity Manager and a part time Health & Safety Officer. The Park has seen employment grow from six outdoor activity instructors in 2012 to 33 this season with plans in place to create more jobs and leisure activities over the next five years.

“This is a very exciting time for us. The Zip Line and octagonal High-Ropes Challenges have been in development for three years now and to see these ideas become a reality has been fantastic. Besides the spectacular views at the top of the Zip Line, at 300 metres long the experience is exhilarating and one we can’t wait to share with our visitors” said Liz Nolan, Manager of Castlecomer Discovery Park.

The new activities are open to people over 12 years of age and are particularly suited to groups and for team-building exercises. Castlecomer Discovery Park are now taking bookings and the first group – a secondary school from Offaly – will experience the new challenges on April 21st.

The Zip Line platforms and Octagonal High-Ropes Challenge have been built by world renowned high ropes and adventure park experts, Skywalker Adventure Builders, from Holland. They are constructed in Douglas Fir wood, chosen for its strength, resilience and sympathetic blending into the surrounding woodlands.

Peter van der Krol, Technical Director of Skywalk Adventure Builders and Supervisor of the development of Castlecomer Discovery Park said, “Most of the projects we do across Europe and Africa are constructed beam to beam with no real views to be enjoyed. The setting at Castlecomer Discovery Park is really unique and we have never worked on anything as spectacular and stunning.”

Capital funding for the new activities was sourced from the Dormant Accounts Fund under the Social Enterprise Pillar, the Rural Economic Development Zone, Kilkenny County Council and the company’s own funds.

Set in an 80 acre natural woodland, Castlecomer Discovery Park has a lease agreement with Coillte, who support recreational use of the woodlands, and hosts an exciting range of recreational and educational activities. Opened in 2007, the Park already features scenic waking trails, boating, fishing, high-ropes adventure activities, a multi-media coal mining museum, orienteering trails, schools education programme, design craft workshops, Elf and Fairy village and an award-winning café. Castlecomer Discovery Park is now a member of the European Ropes Course Association.

See / 056 444 0707