Shetland Leads Transnational Viking Project
by Alastair Hamilton -
Shetland Amenity Trust is to lead a major project that will celebrate Europe's Viking heritage and involve partners in 13 countries.
The Trust has been awarded €1.96 million from the European Union's Creative Europe Culture sub-programme for the project, “Follow the Vikings”. There are 14 full partners in Denmark, England, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Spain and Sweden. Some of the 11 associate partners come from these countries but others are from Canada, France, the Isle of Man, Poland and Russia, as well as from our nearest neighbour, Orkney.
The four-year project will have a particular emphasis on creativity and culture; it will encompass the creation of a website and an international touring event. There will also be an emphasis on training volunteers at a local level and a programme to allow the exchange of skills, and strengthened professional links. All this will raise the visibility of the Council of Europe's Viking Cultural Route, managed by the Destination Viking Association of which Shetland Amenity Trust's General Manager, Jimmy Moncrieff, is the Chairman.
The touring event will take the form of a Viking roadshow visiting 12 Viking locations throughout Europe. It will include demonstrations of Viking crafts and arts, Viking games, and shows combining drama, poetry, stories, music, dance and re-enactment. Local participation and youth engagement will be an essential feature.
Jimmy Moncrieff, General Manager of Shetland Amenity Trust, said that he was “absolutely delighted” that the Trust had been successful in securing the funding on behalf of Viking colleagues. He continued:
“We and our partners have been working towards this for a number of years in order to make transnational Viking heritage more accessible and understandable to a worldwide audience. This is our fourth attempt to secure EU Culture funding support and this shows that a good project plus tenacity can ultimately succeed. We hope the project will contribute to maintaining and developing Europe as the number one global heritage tourism destination. The award is all the more gratifying as competition for funding was extremely intense with only 16 applications being approved from the 127 considered.”