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EU delegation visits Highland cultural heritage projects

Published: 08/06/2022

Inverness will welcome around 30 delegates to the city this week (8-10 June) as part of an international project developing new business opportunities in the cultural heritage sector.

The final conference for the CUPIDO Interreg Cultural Heritage project will be held at Inverness Creative Academy. The North Sea Region programme for 2018-22 is funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

The project helps businesses develop new opportunities in the cultural heritage sector across Europe’s North Sea region.

There are 16 partners from seven regions around the North Sea – consisting of organisations from Sweden, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Norway and UK.  All partners are in regions with an aging population, due to both urbanisation and changing demographics.

The visit is organised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) - a partner in the CUPIDO project and will give European delegates a flavour of the region’s cultural heritage.

The two days will consist of visits to local cultural heritage sites such as the Highlander Museum. Keynote speakers on the day include Arthur Cormack, chief executive of Fèisean nan Gàidheal who will talk about the organisation’s work to engage young people in traditional Gaelic arts and how it supports them to take up careers in the creative industries sector.

Delegates will also hear from HIE’s head of creative industries, Iain Hamilton about XpoNorth, the agency’s specialist business support programme for the region’s creative industries sector.

Through CUPIDO, HIE has been working in partnership with the University of St Andrews on a programme of digital heritage activities with communities and social enterprises working in the culture sector. The projects involved organisations adopting relevant technologies to modernise their cultural offering and enhance commercial growth.

The visit to the Highlanders Museum will highlight one of these projects - a digital reconstruction of a prisoner of war camp exhibited via a VR experience telling the story of a soldier’s experience of being held captive.

Sweden’s Dream Team, a local heritage game development and storytelling for young people project will be one of the international projects delivered through CUPIDO that will be showcased at the conference.

Chantal Geyer, senior development manager at HIE, said:

“We are delighted to host the European delegation and look forward to showing them some of our region’s cultural heritage. We will discuss key challenges and opportunities that organisations can offer from creating jobs to uniting communities. The visit gives us a great opportunity to hear about other countries’ experiences.

“Having previously met with the CUPIDO partners, we are confident that sharing the excellent best practice we’ve all undertaken in this area is going to help us continue to provide a dynamic environment for our cultural heritage sector in the region to thrive and prosper.”