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Crystal plant on the block

The sale of the 36-acre site in Kilbarry, on the outskirts of Waterford City, will be handled by Savills estate agents in Cork, according to reports.

Kilbarry was for many years a hugely popular destination for American visitors to Ireland.

Separately, the new backers of Waterford Crystal are planning to start production in Waterford City center by the beginning of June.

The new company, Waterford Wedgwood Royal Doulton, trading as Waterford Prestige Company, will be wholly-owned by KPS, the New York-based venture capital company that acquired Waterford Wedgwood last year. The new company will be located on city council property on the Mall.

Unlike Kilbarry, where about 800 people were once employed, the new operation a few miles away will employ only about 100 when it is fully up and running.

According to plans, an "iconic" building is to be designed for the riverfront to accommodate the new Waterford Crystal operation. Backers and the city hope that the new facility will also become a top-tier tourist attraction.

The Kilbarry site, meanwhile, is expected to sell for anywhere between

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