Follow the Vikings

ON THE BLOG: Jimmy Moncrieff talks Follow the Vikings

Follow the Vikings aims to make the Viking heritage accessible and understandable to a worldwide audience. We spoke with Jimmy Moncrieff from Shetland Amenity Trust, which is the lead partner in this large Cooperation Project supported by Creative Europe.

Tell us a bit about Follow the Vikings 

"The Follow the Vikings project celebrates Viking heritage throughout Europe and has a particular emphasis on creativity and culture, reflected in the creation of a new website and an international touring event.

"Without this funding there is no way we could have embarked on such an ambitious project to raise the profile and awareness of the cultural contribution of the Vikings to Europe and the wider world."

"There is also an emphasis on training volunteers at a local level and skills exchange. The project seeks to develop audiences through a variety of new technologies, build business models through sharing best practice and strengthen the international network of professionals and institutions working in the field of Viking heritage. 

"The Viking roadshow is visiting 12 key Viking locations throughout Europe and culminating in central Europe. It includes demonstrations of Viking crafts and arts, Viking games, and shows, combining drama, poetry, stories, music, dance and re-enactment and will involve local participation and youth engagement.

"All this will raise the visibility of the Council of Europe’s Viking Cultural Route."

How did you find the process of finding partners and applying to Creative Europe?

"All partners came from within the pre-existing Destination Viking Association (DVA) and it was this Association’s idea that an application should be put together and submitted. 

"A proposal was drawn up and a call put out to all members of the Association to participate. This resulted in a project with 15 partners.

"We believe that what made our application successful was the conviction that our project was a good one, which fitted the objectives of the Creative Europe programme. 

"This was our third attempt to secure funding and the application had been honed following feedback received on the previous applications. 

"Probably one of the keys to the success was the strength of the partnership and the legacy provision to ensure longevity of the project outcomes through the DVA in future."

How has the Creative Europe funding been beneficial to your project? 

"Without this funding there is no way we could have embarked on such an ambitious project to raise the profile and awareness of the cultural contribution of the Vikings to Europe and the wider world.

"If you have a good project, do not give up at the first, or even second, hurdle."

"What surprised us was the fact that the UK’s EU referendum result clearly did not recognise the enormous benefits of EU membership and the massive financial contribution funding programmes like Creative Europe has made."

What advice would you give to potential applicants of Creative Europe funding?

"If you have a good project, do not give up at the first, or even second, hurdle.  

"Pay particular attention to the expert feedback, which was always of a very high quality and extremely helpful."

Follow the Vikings received €1,960,000 for a three-year Cooperation Project with 14 partners.

Image courtesy of the Follow the Vikings website