It’s no secret that Mid and East Antrim is an area full of tales of rich industrial history.
Council staff have been capitalising on this and have been busy creating an engaging new tourism experience across key sites to grow this segment of the tourist market.
‘Shaped by Industry, Shared with Pride’ launched this year and not only has seen guided tours boost footfall to an array of unique and previously untapped destinations along the world famous Causeway Coastal Route, but the use of interactive historical theatre performances really brings this history to life.
New audiences including families and out of borough visitors have been visiting the likes of Whitehead Railway Museum, Flame! Gasworks, Carnlough Harbour and Glenarm to experience history in a new and innovative way.
These lessons are now being shared by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council at a special event in Belfast’s iconic Linen Hall Library on 26 September at 10.30am.
Open to the heritage, arts and tourism sectors, the free event will explore how using interactive experiences and capitalising on community contacts can boost not only your tourism attraction’s business but also the local area’s economy.
Museum and Heritage Manager, Jayne Clarke said: “Shaped by Industry-Shared with Pride has been a fantastic project. It has been great to see so many visitors getting caught up in stories through live performance, and seeing each of our industrial heritage sites in a fresh and exciting way.
“We are thrilled to have Jonathan Lloyd, UK and Ireland coordinator for the European Route of Industrial Heritage, as the keynote speaker of our ‘Performing Better’ seminar and hope that other businesses can be as inspired as ours have been.
“We are grateful to have received support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Tourism NI and the Department of Communities. This funding is a welcome boost as great work has already been done through other projects; including the Heritage Hub at Carnlough Town Hall and the refurbishment of Whitehead Railway Museum. I’d also like to thank our partners at Big Telly Theatre Company and Carrickfergus Enterprise.”
Jim McGreevy, NI Committee Member, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, added: “Shaped by Industry, Shared with Pride was one of several projects joint funded by ourselves for the European Year of Cultural Heritage. The funding was a challenge to the heritage sector to try something different and explore how heritage can play an even stronger role in the economy of NI.
“We were delighted to see the success of this project and we are really looking forward to hearing from the project team and understanding how other heritage organisations can diversify and enrich what they offer to visitors”
The event is free but book your space before it fills up on Eventbrite, search for ‘Performing Better’ or email firstname.lastname@example.org