Cupido: Culture power - inspire development in rural areas

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

CUPIDO is an Interreg North Sea Region cultural heritage project. In partnership with the University of St Andrews we're working with communities and social enterprises across the region on transnational digital heritage activities designed to help commercialise the culture sector.

CUPIDO's overarching aim is to develop new business opportunities in the cultural and heritage sectors to reinforce the economic position, competitiveness and social inclusion of local rural communities. This includes activities such as art, dance, music and cultural heritage.

The international partnership is bringing together organisations from Sweden (Länsstyrelsen Värmland – Lead Partner), Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Norway and UK (HIE and Creative Foundation, Kent).

The project runs 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

Session one - How To Make Heritage Journeys Workshop

Virtual workshops series 1. Bringing Museums to the Home

Don't worry if you missed series 1 of our online workshops, we've recorded the sessions for you to watch again on our video wall.

There has been a huge creative digital response to COVID-19 with museums reaching locked down audiences through virtual tours, galleries, live events and social media.

The ideas of “Museums at Home” and “Heritage at Home” promoted new ways of enabling museums to reach audiences allowing them to connect with heritage, whilst staying safe. Facilitated by University of St Andrews, with international contributions from museologists based in Barbados and Iceland, reached audiences near and far. 

Topics covered included

  • How to make a virtual gallery
  • Making the most of social media for heritage
  • Virtual Museums in an Age of Pandemics, Climate Change and Conflict


Session one - How To Make Heritage Journeys Workshop

Virtual Tours offer virtual travel in time and space. A virtual traveller can explore historic buildings, dramatic landscapes of the discoveries of archaeology without leaving their home. Creating a virtual tour enables audiences to connect with heritage during lockdown and provides a valuable permanent resource.

Session two - Digitising Movable Cultural Heritage Workshop

Artefacts lie at the heart of museums, they provide gateways to imagine how people lived in the past, to the stories and lives associated with the object. Yet at the best of times an artefact can only be in one place and at the worst we are locked out from that place. Digitisation offers the potential for representations of artefacts to be accessed from anywhere.

Session three - Connecting with Heritage Workshop

Millions of people use social media everyday, it's the easiest way to connect with existing and new audiences. In this session we look at how to communicate heritage through social media whilst maximising impact.

Session four - Virtual Heritage Journeys through Digital Maps Workshop

Maps provide a great way to look at the world and to organise heritage information. Digital maps are better still because they let us link engaging media to relevant locations and take people on virtual journeys. People use digital maps like Google Maps every day, making it easy for them to join virtual heritage journeys we make.

Session five - Going Live with Social Media Workshop

There is something special about live. Whether it be sporting events, music or theatre. Repeated or recorded versions all have something missing. With social media it is now possible to do our own 'Do It Yourself live broadcasting'.

Session six - Virtual Reality Workshop

Through digital reconstructions of historic, places scenes and artefacts visitor can travel through time and space to experience and explore both natural and cultural heritage. Walking the streets of pre reformation Edinburgh, climbing to a Pictish hill fort or sampling the wonder of a medieval Cathedral all become possible with virtual reality.

Session seven - Creative Commons and Wikipedia Workshop

Working in the digital domain, it is easy to make copies and for these to be shared. The Creative Commons provides a framework which can be used for licensing the way digitised heritage is used. Wikipedia uses creative commons licensing to provides a global repository of knowledge. We will look at the advantages and methods of connecting heritage into this repository.

Session eight - Virtual Museums Workshop

A virtual museum can provide a framework for organising digital content and for putting on exhibits and exhibitions. Done right it should help connect communities with their heritage and provide a platform for projecting that heritage to wider communities and audiences. It should provide resources which empower volunteers and professionals to create digital exhibits and exhibitions.