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Newry, Mourne and Down District Council joined partners this week to officially launch Atlantic CultureScape, a new €2 million project which was 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.

The Atlantic CultureScape Steering Committee pictured with Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Charlie Casey, who officially launched the project, and delegates at the launch conference at Killeavy Castle Estate, Meigh, Ring of Gullion.
The Atlantic CultureScape Steering Committee pictured with Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Charlie Casey, who officially launched the project, and delegates at the launch conference at Killeavy Castle Estate, Meigh, Ring of Gullion.

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 the Ring of Gullion Handcrafts and Art and the Fiddlers Green Festival.

On launching Atlantic CultureScapes, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Charlie Casey said, “It is great to see so many organisations 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. 

“It’s an interesting concept to pair economic development with the preservation of intangible cultural heritage. I look forward to the project working with our business and developing sellable experiences and watching the outputs over the next 3 years.”

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.

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