EU Funding Boost for North Down’s Tourism

North Down Borough Council have recently been successful in drawing down funding from the Special European Union Programmes Body (SEUPB) under the INTERREG IVA Programme Tourism call.

The grant, totaling over £200,000, will see a number of tourism projects take place over the next two years as part of East Border Regions Tourism Development Plan.  The total value of the Tourism Development Plan is in excess of £2.7 million which will support a range of projects throughout the East Border Region.

The European Union’s INTERREG IVA Programme aims to support strategic cross-border co-operation for a more prosperous cross border region and improve access to services so as to enhance the quality of life for those living in the eligible area. In particular the Programme will focus on developing a dynamic economy, supporting infrastructure and promoting innovative ways of addressing specific cross-border problems.

Under the call projects in North Down will see developments work in Christian Heritage, Maritime and Visitor Servicing projects.

The first project, currently underway, will see a research study into the areas Christian Heritage including the foundation of Bangor Abbey through to the travels of the Abbey’s most famous Saints, Columbanus and Gall, who spread Christianity through much of modern day Europe. In addition the study will look at the potential developments for tourism in relation to our local Christian Heritage offering, this at a time when Christian Pilgrimages are on the increase.

Following on from and utilising the historical content from this study, North Down Museum is to benefit from a complete refurbishment of the Christian Heritage exhibition room, with interactive materials, new displays and interpretation bringing to life the story of Bangor Abbey and its legacy.

On a maritime front the Eisenhower Pier is to receive a maker over with new street furniture and infrastructure to complement the town’s upcoming Public Realm works. Two new murals are to be installed to add to those already in place along with interpretational signage bringing the pier to life and improving its use as an event space.

Finally, visitor servicing is to receive added dimensions with money invested in new technologies and signage to assist visitors and tourists to the local area.

The projects are all due to be completed by the end of 2014.