National Lottery funding to showcase Northern Ireland’s cultural heritage

Carra Castle featured in Games of Thrones
Nine projects are to share grants of £500,000 to explore new ways to celebrate and promote Northern Ireland’s diverse cultural heritage.

The funding is the result of an exciting new partnership between HLF, Tourism NI and the Department for Communities Historic Environment Division to mark the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 (EYCH).

The EYCH aims to encourage people to explore Europe's rich cultural heritage, by celebrating and protecting its unique value and reflecting on the place that cultural heritage occupies in our lives.

In Northern Ireland, a programme of events has been developed to respond to the challenges that the EYCH poses and includes capacity building workshops, existing events like the European Heritage Open Days and a celebration event to showcase successes and highlight future opportunities.

Announcing the awards, Paul Mullan, Head of HLF Northern Ireland, said: “The EYCH is more than an opportunity to showcase our cultural heritage; it presents a challenge to the sector to creatively explore ways to fully realise the potential of our cultural heritage as a lever to attract additional investment, boost tourism and aid regeneration.

“These projects show how we can make more of our individual sites, things, places and stories to create more joined up narratives and experiences for visitors from Northern Ireland and further afield.  Thanks to the money raised by National Lottery players we are delighted to be able to work in partnership to deliver this new investment in our heritage which will help to create a better future for everyone in Northern Ireland.”

Nine National Lottery funded projects

  • Great Lighthouses Unlocking our Maritime Heritage - £56,000, The Irish Landmark Trust
  • Walls Alive 400 – Bringing the Walls to life through Augmented Reality - £50,000, Derry and Strabane District Council
  • Linenopolis - £50,000, Linen Hall Library
  • Sea Gods Shipwrecks & Sidhe Folk – a treasure trail revealing the rich Causeway heritage - £56,500, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council
  • Shaped by Industry – Shared with Pride - £50,000, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council
  • One For The Heart Pilot - £65,000, Lagan Navigation Trust
  • Journeying Beyond Westeros: Warlords and Gallowglass – Adventures in Medieval Ulster - £42,000, Queen’s University Belfast & Strangford and Lecale Partnership
  • Museum Lates - £80,000, Northern Ireland Museums Council
  • Relating Histories - £50,000, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council

Rosemarie McHugh, Director of Product Development at Tourism NI, said: “Many of these projects are piloting ideas that will provide new insights and have implications for the cultural heritage sector far beyond the EYCH itself.  We see this as the beginning of a longer term journey to maximise our tourism offering by promoting a cross-sector, partnership approach.”

Director of the Historic Environment Division, Iain Greenway, added: “This work is one part of a wider engagement across the heritage sector to demonstrate that the historic environment has an important contribution to make to very many aspects of our society and community.  Such projects help to show what is possible and we hope that they will prove to be inspirational.”

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