Newry & Mourne set to benefit from £1.5m funding

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Saturday, September 15th, 2012
Community, News
The Newry & Mourne area is set to benefit from a new funding programme which aims to protect and manage some of the UK’s most outstanding and treasured landscapes. The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded £1.5 million of conservation funding to the Mourne Heritage Trust for a Landscape Partnership Programme that will be rolled out over the next 4 years. A special meeting of the Mournes and Crotlieve Councillors was convened to highlight the benefits to the area. Martin Carey, CEO of the Mourne Heritage Trust, gave the group an overview of the programme and described a number of projects that will help to tell the stories of this rich and varied landscape. He referred in particular to the restoration of the Annalong Cornmill, which will include the development of a Mourne Granite Interpretative Centre. Carey explained, “This project, which will celebrate our industrial heritage, will become a hub for this landscape partnership programme.  As well as housing the staff team for the partnership programme, the newly refurbished facility will encourage more visitors to the area, thus stimulating economic development.” Speaking of other key projects in the district, Mr Carey talked about the link with C.S Lewis which will be preserved through the Magical Mournes and Narnia trail, planned for Kilbroney Park. He also outlined a number of projects that will be undertaken at the Silent Valley in a bid to uncover the stories associated with water and the Mourne area. Congratulating the Mourne Heritage Trust on their success in acquiring the funding, Councillor John McArdle, Mayor of Newry & Mourne District Council said: “The Mourne Mountain Landscape Partnership Programme will make a very significant contribution to the cultural, natural and built heritage of our area. We look forward to working in partnership with the Mourne Heritage Trust and the local communities in the implementation of the programme over the next 4 years.” The programme brings together members of the community as well as local, regional, and national organisations, through many interlinked projects to create a shared vision to tackle the natural and built heritage needs of the local landscape. The local communities are also at the heart of many aspects of the Landscape Partnership scheme. Skills training and wide ranging participation from the local communities will allow their knowledge to be shared in a variety of ways. A drive to re-invigorate traditional folklore, handicrafts and skills in communities will ensure the natural, cultural and Industrial heritage of the Mournes is preserved and shared with their visitors.
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