Hazzard welcomes Craft Month

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Friday, July 27th, 2012
South Down Sinn Féin MLA Chris Hazzard has welcomed the launch of Craft Month which is due to begin in August across the north. Speaking to Newry Times, Hazzard commented; “Down District has the highest percentage distribution of Arts and Craft Enterprises in the north of Ireland, at a staggering 45%. I believe there is huge potential for this industry to grow further in terms of cross border link up and by targeting the tourism industry across the east coast of Down.” “The launch of Craft Month sees a wide range of events and exhibitions across the North and I am delighted that Down will play their part in hosting some of our local talent. From Craft Fest at Castleward to The Creative Peninsula, local artists will have the chance to display the vibrant and homely culture which makes Down so special.” Hazzard continued, “I would encourage existing businesses in the sector to create business networks between themselves and similar type enterprises. Such networks provide excellent opportunities to make contact with other companies and are important in getting vital one-to-one contact with potential customers or suppliers. Craft Month will give local producers a chance to develop such links.” “It is vital that we encourage the promotion of local materials used in the production of arts and crafts, and promote the use of materials which are sustainable, eco-friendly and which are traceable in order to ensure fair trade ethics have been applied. I am delighted to see so many local products being lined up for use in this programme.” “This is an approach that I know many in the arts and crafts sector embrace and I call on everybody to encourage it and value it,” he added.
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