Newry, Mourne and Down District Council joined partners this week to officially launch Atlantic CultureScape, a new €2 million project awarded funding by the EU Interreg Atlantic Area Programme. Partners from across the Atlantic Area attended the launch event at Killeavy Castle Estate, Meigh, Ring of Gullion, hosted by lead partner, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council. Atlantic CultureScape aims to collectively develop intangible cultural heritage experiences that will boost the tourism offer across the Atlantic Area.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council will be collaborating on the three-year project with six Atlantic Area partners; Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, Rio Maior Municipality in Portugal, Cork Institute of Technology in Ireland, the University of Vigo; Regional Government for Cantabria and the Andalusian Agency of Cultural Institutions in Spain. There are also eleven associate partners involved, including Ring of Gullion Handcrafts and Art and the Fiddler’s Green Festival
The ‘intangible’ element of cultural heritage has received relatively little attention in the Atlantic Area in recent years. This project sets out to address this by identifying and enhancing enjoyment of authentic cultural experiences, leading to increased visits. Initially, a study of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) across the Atlantic Area will be carried out, in order to provide guiding principles. The project will focus on the protection and evolution of ICH as well as its development. The creation of innovative ICH products, an ICH Atlantic Area Route and a transnational marketing programme, will gain enhanced recognition and higher visibility for intangible cultural heritage in the Atlantic Area.
On launching Atlantic CultureScapes, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Charlie Casey, said: “It is great to see so many people from across the district and the Atlantic Area come together to assess our common challenges, to look at opportunities and work together towards a common solution in order to deliver benefits for our local and rural communities on a transnational basis. I look forward to the project working with our businesses and developing sell-able experiences. It’s an interesting concept to pair economic development with the preservation of intangible cultural heritage and I look forward to watching the outputs over the next three years.”