Craft Reach

Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust

Northern Ireland

Project title

Craft Reach

Project Duration

2015 - 2018

Total project grant

€1,113,051

Number of partners in project

8

Lead partners

Royal Norwegian Society for Development

Partners

University of Faroe Islands (Denmark)

Municipality of Sermersooq (Greenland)

Teagasc (Ireland)

Region of Jämtland Härjedalen (Sweden)

MATIS - Icelandic Food and Biotech R&D (Iceland)

Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust (UK)

Économusée Society Network (Canada)

EU Funding Opportunity

Interreg V-B: Transnational co-operation

The Craft Reach project is funded by Northern Periphery and Arctic programme and aims to develop and test services to help quality craft businesses grow and prosper in peripheral areas by improving their business models and their premises, lifting the products onto the international market and use the businesses as focal points in the local community and as inspiration for young people.

The project reaches out to a wider part of the local community, but retains the artisan at its centre. Working with strong stakeholder groups and planning services to use a fully functioning web-sales site for the artisans, the project will provide new services for business growth and ensure that the local community is aware of the value of such businesses. The common challenge of distance from markets can be greatly reduced by operating within a functioning international network with its own e-sales presence. The main objective is to develop services to support and foster local small businesses in order for them to not only survive, but to prosper.

The Économusée concept is still new to most artisans and the work to place the craft businesses so centrally in the community is also new. The work to create synergies between artists, artisans and the local communities is a new approach to business development when done in the context of our service development.

The project will develop and test a service to provide artisan placements for young people with artisans in other Économusée network regions. It is important to show young people how heritage and quality can provide good, reliable jobs if developed in the right context. Working with experts we will look to introduce Crowd Funding to the artisans, explore the use of social enterprises for groups of the local community, and use our partners to explore the value of the Green Economy and the Blue Economy in the arctic programme area. 

Image: Steensons Jewellers in Glenarm, Co. Antrim was launched as the fourth Économusée in the UK on 5 December 2013.