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Cupido: Culture power - inspire development in rural areas

An international project developing new business opportunities in the culture and heritage sector.

New business opportunities in culture and heritage

Culture Power Inspire Development in Rural Areas (CUPIDO) is an Interreg North Sea Regional cultural project which has worked with communities and social enterprises to use latest digital techniques to create new commercial opportunities and share their heritage.

A range of organisations has worked with St Andrews University to explore virtual reality, 3D digitisation, online exhibitions and more. See our film for an overview of some of the projects and what they've developed to attract audiences in new ways.

• Taigh Chearsabhagh (see our full feature too!)
• Scapa Flow Museum (see our full feature too!)
• St Kilda
• Orkney North Isles
• Highlanders' Museum

The international partnership has brought together organisations from Sweden (Länsstyrelsen Värmland – Lead Partner), Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Norway and UK (HIE and Creative Foundation, Kent).The project ran from 2019-22. 

The Power of Culture, the DNA of a region

Cultural organisations, creative businesses and public sector agencies from across the Highlands and Islands have taken part in this international survey. Findings in our area show:


see culture as an economic driver


say digital innovation's key to preserving heritage


want to grow opportunities for young people


highlighted Orkney as a culturally inspirational place

Communities and CUPIDO

Find out more about the exciting digital projects being carried out by Highlands and Islands communities to share their cultural past and present.

Highlanders Museums Pow VR Image

The Highlanders' Museum

Home to Highland regiments heritage, the Highlanders' Museum is digitising its entire collection to make it easier to share artefacts and documents with the public. They're working with St Andrews University on Virtual Reality reconstructions to bring that history to life for visitors.

CUPIDO - The Highlanders' Museum
Scapa Flow

Scapa Flow

Scapa Flow was the main base for the Royal Navy in both World Wars.

With CUPIDO support the Museum has created digital immersive exhibits for visitors to experience what life was like. Find out how digital technology has brought something new to the Museum's renovation project.

Play Video
Rubha An Dùnain

The Aros Centre

The Aros Centre was the first organisation to work directly with the University of St Andrews as part of the CUPIDO project. Together they have created innovative animated content for the Skye Story and for use in a Virtual Reality exhibit.

CUPIDO - The Aros Centre
St Kilda

St Kilda

The Outer Hebrides’ Ionad Hiort group is aiming to develop a world-class visitor centre for those looking to experience the isolated island of St Kilda remotely without physical travel.
The University of St Andrews is working with the group to develop a digital reconstruction of St Kilda and its history that will be exhibited via virtual reality. Get a sneak preview here.

Play Video
Stronsay Web

Orkney North Isles

Orkney North Isles Landscape Partnership, Orkney Islands Council and the communities of Westray, Stronsay, North Ronaldsay, Shapinsay, Rousay, Papay Westray, Sanday and Eday are working on a cultural Virtual reality project with St Andrews University.
The aim is to create a VR project designed to connect island communities and help promote and preserve their local culture, aiming to attract an increase in visitors to the islands and their local cultural heritage centres.

See the Partnership's photo gallery
Taigh Chearsabhagh

Taigh Chearsabhagh

Taigh Chearsabhagh celebrates Gaelic culture, and North Uist's heritage. With CUPIDO's help the arts centre has been able to present the story of the different elements of local music in an interactive way. It's providing a vital record of local heritage.

Play Video
St Andrews Team V2

Meet the Team

Find out more about the St Andrews University Open Virtual World's team which is working with our organisation on the CUPIDO project.

St Andrews University team


On demand - Cupido virtual workshops

We've run two seasons of virtual workshops to help you make more of digital to share your stories with new audiences, particularly while the pandemic restricts visitors.

Series one was called 'Bringing Museums to the Home' and it promotes new ways helping museums to reach audiences through virtual tours, galleries, live events and social media. It was facilitated by University of St Andrews, and included international contributions.

Our second series has been delivered with XpoNorth and is designed to help those involved in heritage projects to reach audiences in new ways. Find out how to develop a digital strategy, and practicalities for specific techniques including live streaming, developing an app, and financing digital projects.

Watch recordings of the workshops and access the presentation notes below.


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