THE ICONIC Bunratty castle and folk park is the focus of a massive investment and upgrade.
The country’s largest butterfly house is just one of the proposals which the heritage company hopes will up visitor numbers at the hugely successful offering by half.
A four-dimensional visitor experience is also planned in a new building as part of the development along with new interactive facilities in other areas of the folk park.
Other plans include restoration works on the historic Bunratty House and improvements in the folk-park street.
The 15th-century castle, which is at the centre of the visitor attraction, is also the focus of attention with a new welcoming vista planned with period banners and tents.
The historic nature of the castle makes it difficult to access for people with mobility restrictions. The plan is to create a new experience on the lower levels and to move some of the historic collection from the upper rooms of the castle to the lower area and to create a virtual walkthrough with interactive screens.
There are proposals for four sculptures within the parks as well as experiential and interactive features in some of the buildings in the village.
The proposals will require some demolition including the exiting educational building and there are also plans to extend the car-park to accommodate the anticipated increase in visitor footfall.
Walkways, a picnic area and a new playground are also part of the Bunratty plans.
The application is currently with the planning authority.