An architect's image of the proposed watch house. Photo: Mayo County Council

Plans to start construction work on Keem Bay signature discovery point revealed

* Engineering Design Services being appointed to development

* Works to include pedestrian access trail, skywalk, skeleton sculpture and partial restoration of watch house

* Works estimated to cost between €3 - 4 million and will be the jewel in the crown for developing Achill’s tourism sector

Work is underway to secure engineering-led design consultancy services for the Keem Bay signature discovery point in Achill, Mayo TD Alan Dillon has confirmed tonight.

The works will allow for the development of a skywalk and skeleton sculpture which will be the highlight of the amenity along this prominent destination on the Wild Atlantic Way.

An architect's image of the proposed Skywalk at Keen Bay.

Other works will also include a pedestrian access trail connecting the former Coastguard residence with the watch house, as well as partial restoration of the building to act as a shelter for walkers.

Deputy Dillon said: “I understand these works will cost in the region of €3 to 4 million which is a significant investment in the tourism sector in Achill.

"Once completed, it is expected the new Keem Skywalk will become one of the must-see destinations for anyone visiting the Wild Atlantic Way.

"I am conscious this project has experienced delays but with significant design works to be undertaken shortly, the new signature discovery point is moving a step closer to completion.

"I expect the consulting engineers to be appointed by the end of April and construction commencing by the end of 2021 or early 2022.”

Deputy Dillon concluded: “While the natural beauty of Keem is what makes the area famous, it is necessary to tastefully improve the infrastructure if longer-stay tourists are to be attracted to Achill and the surrounding areas of Mayo.

"Environmental protection will be a key objective of the project, as well as maximising the visitor experience and community benefits.

"We have excellent examples of this such as Ballycroy National Park where significant access and visitor experience improvements were undertaken without negatively impacting on the ecological and natural appeal of the area.”

Mayo County Council is in the process of procuring consultant engineers, to work alongside the Councils Architects and Tourism teams, to carry out a new design for the signature discovery point at Keem Bay.

The design includes a scaled back but innovative look-out structure to meet the environmental and asthetic needs of the site while offering an outstanding visitor experience.

The design will provide for traffic and visitor management solutions and consultation with stakeholders will be undertaken in due course.