Industrial heritage sites across Mid and East Antrim have joined a Europe-wide tourism information network.
The European Route of Industrial Heritage (ERIH) has a total membership base of almost 2000 heritage sites across 47 European countries.
The Heritage Hub at Carnlough Town Hall, Glenarm Visitor Centre and Whitehead Railway Museum are now joining this network, with Flame! Gasworks already members, truly bringing the borough to the world stage.
Based in Germany, ERIH support the development of industrial heritage and cultural tourism across Europe with localised National Coordinators looking after member interests.
Jonathan Lloyd the UK and Ireland Coordinator for ERIH enjoyed a tour of the sites and welcomed staff and volunteers as new members: “Mid and East Antrim has a rich and varied industrial past and I have been impressed to see that local agencies and communities are working together to present that heritage to bigger and more varied audiences.
“ERIH is delighted to welcome these fantastic experiences and facilities to the Europe-wide network. Industrial history is a common European heritage but the protection of such sites is a difficult task, but we’re hoping to tackle this through co-operation in our network to encourage the appreciation, understanding, protection and promotion of this common history as a means of achieving economic growth.
“Special thanks goes to Mid and East Antrim Borough Council for supporting the ERIH membership for the heritage sites at Carnlough, Glenarm and Whitehead. Their volunteers have all played a major part in the success of the “Shaped by Industry – Shared with Pride” initiative by hosting a number of participative theatre performances. Showing an innovative and fun way to bring heritage sites to life. This shared learning is vital to maintaining tourism footfall to areas steeped in heritage and this network will help them shout about it.”
It is hoped ERIH membership will act as a further promotional boost to the three new site members, to enable them to network together with other sites, develop their audiences, promote each other, and to take advantage of their prime location for tourism, on the world famous Causeway Coastal Route.