By Kirsty HalcrowApril 16th 2015

Shetland Amenity Trust has been awarded €1.96 million from the EU Creative Europe Culture sub-programme for the project “Follow the Vikings”. Shetland Amenity Trust is the lead partner in this exciting transnational project which has 14 full partners and 11 associate partners with a geographical spread over 13 countries.

The 4-year project will celebrate Viking heritage throughout Europe and will have a particular emphasis on creativity and culture, including the creation of a website and an international touring event. There will also be an emphasis on training volunteers at a local level and skills exchange. 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 project will seek to develop audiences through a variety of new technologies, build business models through sharing best practice and will strengthen the international network of professionals and institutions working in the field of Viking heritage. A key component of the project is the creation of a Viking roadshow visiting 12 key Viking locations throughout Europe and culminating in central Europe. This will include demonstrations of Viking crafts and arts, Viking games, and shows combining drama, poetry, stories, music, dance and re-enactment and will involve local participation and youth engagement.

Jimmy Moncrieff, General Manager of Shetland Amenity Trust, said

“I am absolutely delighted that the Trust has been successful in securing this funding on behalf of our Viking colleagues. We and our partners have been working towards this for a number of years 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.”