Robin Swann, the Ulster Unionist Party Assembly member for North Antrim and UUP Leader, has “warmly welcomed the tremendous news” that tens of thousands of pounds has been secured from the Heritage Lottery Fund for much-needed cultural projects across the region.
The Irish Landmark Trust received £56,000 to tap into the Irish Lights archive and use this, together with stories linked to each coastal community, to share the maritime and industrial heritage associated with the Great Lighthouses of Ireland stations at Blackhead, Rathlin Westlight, St. John's Point and at the Great Light at Titantic Quarter.
Archived material, stories and images will be used to create podcasts, films and infographics, bringing this previously hidden heritage to life and helping to attract new visitors to each site and destination in Northern Ireland.
Sea Gods Shipwrecks and Sidhe Folk is a treasure trail revealing the rich Causeway heritage; it also gets £56,500 for Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council. The project will inspire visitors to uncover the connections between the landscape, local folklore and iconic treasures that are held in our museums.
Through public engagement, eight sites that represent the hidden gems of the Causeway heritage, along with their associated myths and legends, will be selected and used to draw visitors into lesser-known areas of the Causeway Coast and Glens.
Shaped by Industry – Shared with Pride gets £50,000 from Mid and East Antrim Borough Council. The project will connect and promote the industrial heritage of four key sites along the Causeway Coastal Route – Whitehead Railway Museum, The Heritage Hub at Carnlough Town Hall, Flame! Gasworks Museum in Carrickfergus and Whiting Mill, Glenarm and the Antrim Coast Road.
Live theatre performances will enable visitors to experience life as potential new recruits for the Victorian gas works in Carrickfergus, as a railway porter at Whitehead, as a limestone worker in Glenarm or harbour mistress at Carnlough.
Assemblyman Swann said: “This is a real boost for the local economy and especially the area’s tourist trade.
“These projects can be used to effectively develop the local tourist industry as we want to see more visitors coming to the North Antrim region as well as existing constituents enjoying the benefits of their home constituency” said Assemblyman Swann.