THE country’s first eco resort, which is based on the Mizen peninsula, is set for major expansion after securing €200,000 from Bord Iascaigh Mhara. Goleen Harbour comprises a mix of cabins, pre-pitched bell tents, a unique geodome, along with tent and camper pitches.
The funding will allow for more accommodation, as well as an event space for carbon-neutral weddings, and an upgrade to a facilities building, including the installation of a full kitchen. Matt Mills, who launched the resort at Ballydivlin with partner Melanie Furnis, says the new developments will be in place by July.
He has vast experience in the tourism sector, having co-created the Sheep’s Head Cycle Route for the Sheep’s Head Way, the first official way-marked cycle route in the country, that opened in 2000.
The resort, run on renewables, also features a purpose-built wellness building, and offers activities like bike trials, target archery, bush craft, a guided farm walk on the 38-acre farm and kayaking, and the funding will allow for a new support rib.
Matt and the team are also developing a programme to help transition young neuro-diverse adults into the workplace.
The resort was 50% booked over the winter period, double the target. ‘We saw a big trend for short stays by couples looking for hot tubs, with visitors from the UK, France and Ireland,’ he said.
‘This latest funding had been awarded through the Brexit Blue Economy Enterprise Scheme and includes a sum for the development of solar PV,’ he said. Goleen Harbour Ltd is now raising the remainder of the matching finance through private investment, he added.