Mourne Mountains feature at launch of Heritage Experience

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Wednesday, December 10th, 2014
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The spectacular Mourne Mountains are featured in a new short film celebrating the early life of celebrated writer CS Lewis.

The Narnia Experience: Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster with LEDCOM Chief Executive Ken Nelson and CS Lewis expert, Sandy Smith launch the new cultural tourism company Heritage Experience

The four minute film, ‘CS Lewis and the Island of his Birth’ was shown at the launch of Heritage Experience, a new social enterprise company dedicated to promoting Northern Ireland’s rich cultural heritage to the rest of the world. Narrated by CS Lewis expert Sandy Smith, a director of Heritage Experience, the film features dramatic footage of the Mournes, said to be the one of the inspirations for the landscape of Narnia. Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster, launching the new social enterprise, said, “Heritage Experience will play a valuable role in developing cultural tourism in Northern Ireland by showcasing the lives of celebrated “exports” such as CS Lewis and reaching out to local people as well as the Diaspora located across the world. “Tens of thousands of visitors come here every year to explore their family roots and experience our extraordinarily varied history and heritage. With a new social enterprise dedicated to developing this important market I would expect the vast potential for cultural tourism to be further realised.” At the launch Minister Foster unveiled a new short film about CS Lewis’ Ulster connections. The production was commissioned by Heritage Experience which will use it to help promote cultural heritage tours and other tourism related products. Heritage Experience is a collaborative venture between one of Northern Ireland’s leading economic development agencies LEDCOM and top cultural organisations the Ulster Historical Foundation, which helps visitors trace their Irish ancestry and the Ulster Scots Community Network which works to promote and preserve Ulster Scots heritage. It has received start up support under the Invest NI Social Entrepreneurship Programme and Rural Development Funding (RDP) under the North East Region Rural Development Programme. Ken Nelson, Heritage Experience Chairman and Chief Executive of LEDCOM said the new organisation would explore new cultural heritage markets and tell the story of Northern Ireland, its history and its remarkable individuals that have made a global impact. “The aim of this new company is to help build brand awareness of Northern Ireland by developing and marketing a range of popular cultural heritage and tourism related products and services that will support economic development and help create jobs. “We are excited by the launch of the new CS Lewis film, the first of three short pieces which will be used as part of a campaign to raise awareness of the author’s links to this part of the world . “In the months ahead we will also focus on using the Ulster Scots heritage to forge greater links with Scots Irish communities in North America and beyond. But it is not just about Ulster Scots, it is about promoting all aspects of our culture.” The new company will act as a facilitator for other companies involved in cultural tourism by sourcing and marketing related products such as giftware, literature, DVDs and CDs.

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