Newbridge Silverware is set to attract an additional 100,000 tourists to the iconic visitor attraction with the launch of a new factory tour this June. The Kildare based lifestyle company has been making quality sterling and silver plated tableware at its Newbridge factory since it was first established in 1934 as “The Newbridge Cutlery Co”. It is now the only facility of its type in Ireland and the UK and there are few of its kind anywhere in Europe.
For the first time in its history, the factory will be open to the public who will be able to see first-hand the intricate craft of creating quality sterling silver and silver plated tableware as well as the many jewellery and gift items which Newbridge Silverware is renowned for worldwide. The tourism investment will create an estimated 10 new jobs over the coming months and follows an investment of over €300,000 by the company into enhancing its tourism offering.
The factory tour gives visitors a unique, behind the scenes look at the journey from raw material to end product. The process of crafting tableware is virtually unchanged since the company’s formation in 1934 and many of the original machines are still in use today. The sheer power and ingenuity will astound the visitor. Over 80,000,000 pieces of tableware have been made by Newbridge Silverware since 1934 and each item is handled over 40 times by the craftsmen during the process.
As well as the addition of the factory tour, the world famous Museum of Style Icons (MOSI) has also been extended as part of the investment to create a new exhibition space for visiting attractions. The extension will allow space for an additional 40 garments, as well as other artefacts including valuable photographs, sketches and jewellery. The Museum of Style Icons already houses one of the world’s greatest collections of couture, style and artefacts from the world of cinema and popular culture. Some of the icons and designers featured in the current collection include Hubert de Givenchy, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, Princess Diana and Elizabeth Taylor. The new space will launch with a visiting exhibition entitled, “LBD, The Little Black Dress” which includes couture creations from designers including Chanel, Dior, Versace, Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld, Jean Paul Gaultier and more. The exhibition will run until 31st January 2019 and is a must-see showcase for all fashionistas.
Only a few months ago Newbridge Silverware completely renovated and redesigned its on-site restaurant, which was created by the eponymous American interior designer Carleton Varney, who has worked on designs for the White House, actress Joan Crawford and the residence of former American president Jimmy Carter among others.
William Doyle, CEO of Newbridge Silverware, said, “We have been working closely with Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland in order to further develop our visitor experience. Research coming from Fáilte Ireland shows that the international visitor has a huge appetite for indigenous Irish products and traditional Irish craft. Our factory is a true hidden treasure and the heart of the company. We are so excited to open our doors to the public and are certain they will be wowed by what they see and experience.
“We are already a named visitor attraction by Fáilte Ireland on Ireland’s Ancient East, but the newly extended Museum of Style Icons and factory tour will become a major highlight for inbound tourists as well as the domestic visitor.”
Just last week, the latest CSO data showed an increase of international tourists for the first quarter of this year, with a jump of 7.3 per cent of inbound visitors.
The CSO data confirmed that overseas visitor numbers increased by +7.3% during the January-April period with approximately 191,100 additional overseas arrivals when compared with the first four months of 2017. Newbridge Silverware and the Museum of Style Icons will now be a must visit destination for both these international visitors and domestic visitors.
Paul Keeley, Fáilte Ireland’s Director of Commercial Development, said, “With a growing tourism trend for seeking out authentic experiences rooted in history and the special attributes of a region, local craft experiences are increasingly fitting the bill for the modern tourist, especially those from our key overseas markets.
“At Fáilte Ireland, we are working with visitor attractions across Ireland’s Ancient East – including Newbridge Silverware – to develop more immersive experiences across the region. Through this work, Fáilte Ireland hopes to develop a unique network of must-visit sites and, in turn, provide a visitor experience of scale which has the potential to attract increased numbers of tourists. How these venues tell their unique stories will be central to making the Ireland’s Ancient East region a compelling destination. Attractions like Newbridge Silverware and its new factory tour – which has storytelling and immersive experiences at its core – are absolutely key to this.”
For further information and to purchase tickets, visit www.newbridgesilverware.com or call 045 431 301.
The Factory Tour officially opens on June 12th.