Isle of Man News - POSTED Thu 16-07-2015

Viking tourism major boost following European funding grant

by LC

Viking tourism major boost following European funding grant The Isle of Man’s Viking tourism profile is set for a major boost following the award of an EU Creative Europe Culture grant of €1.96 million to the Shetland Amenity Trust for its “Follow the Vikings” project.

Shetland Amenity Trust is the lead partner in this exciting transnational project which has 14 full partners and 11 associate partners, including Manx National Heritage, with a geographical spread over 13 countries.

The 4-year project, which will run from 1st July 2015 to 30th June 2019, will celebrate Viking heritage throughout Europe and will have a particular emphasis on creativity and culture, including the creation of a website and an international touring event. There will also be an emphasis on training volunteers at a local level and skills exchange. All this will raise the visibility of the Council of Europe’s Viking Cultural Route, which includes the Isle of Man. The Council of Europe’s Viking Cultural Route is managed by the Destination Viking Association, of which Manx National Heritage is a founder member.

The project will seek to develop audiences through a variety of new technologies, build business models through sharing best practice and will strengthen the international network of professionals and institutions working in the field of Viking heritage. This will include demonstrations of Viking crafts and arts, Viking games, and shows combining drama, poetry, stories, music, dance and re-enactment and will involve local participation and youth engagement.

Jimmy Moncrieff, General Manager of Shetland Amenity Trust, said;
“I am absolutely delighted that the Trust has been successful in securing this funding on behalf of our Viking colleagues. We and our partners including Manx National Heritage have been working towards this for a number of years to make transnational Viking heritage more accessible and understandable to a worldwide audience. This is our fourth attempt to secure EU Culture funding support and this shows that a good project plus tenacity can ultimately succeed. We hope the project will contribute to maintaining and developing Europe as the number one global heritage tourism destination. The award is all the more gratifying as competition for funding was extremely intense with only 16 applications being approved from the 127 considered.”

Edmund Southworth, Director, Manx National Heritage, commented;
“This project represents a major boost to the Isle of Man’s profile worldwide and will give us a significant platform to promote the Isle of Man as a tourism destination within the Viking Cultural Route. Working with other destinations and partner organisations is a vital part of the work that Manx National Heritage does in contributing to the visitor economy and our role within the project team will ensure that the Isle of Man is properly and appropriately represented within the project and the high profile content that is created.”

Photo - In 2014 the Isle of Man welcomed the arrival of the Dragon Herald Fairhair, the largest replica ship built in modern times. The crew of 30 sailed on a voyage of a lifetime from Norway and moored in Peel Harbour, Isle of Man in the shadow of the spectacular Peel Castle for 2 days before returning home.

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