Engaging Communities in their Heritage: Collaboration between Higher Education and the Voluntary Sector in Wales and Ireland

Alex Bell, Louise Emanuel


The paper focuses on an Interreg funded pilot project entitled ‘Heritage and Culture for Learning, Empowerment and Sustainable Tourism’.  The project was a collaborative development between a Higher Education Institution in Wales and a Voluntary Sector Organisation in Ireland and adopted an innovative approach to engaging communities in their heritage.  The central aim of the project was to develop and promote joint opportunities for the creation of sustainable tourism products which build on the natural assets (people and landscape), built assets, culture and heritage of the Wales Ireland cross border region.  In practice this was achieved through an innovative approach combining research, lifelong learning, higher level skills development, networking, marketing and business development through active engagement of local communities. The pilot project ended in July 2013, and the focus of this presentation is an evaluation of the project outcomes and experiences.


Higher Education; Sustainable Tourism; Local Communities; Wales; Ireland

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Creswell, T. (2004) Place: a short introduction. Oxford: Blackwell;

Malpas, J. (2008) ‘New Media, Cultural Heritage and the Sense of Place: Mapping the Conceptual Ground.’ International Journal of Heritage Studies. Vol. 14, No. 3 pp. 197–209;

UWTSD (2010) Interreg 4A Application HERCULES;

VisitWales (2008) Review of Cultural Tourism in Wales. Welsh Assembly Government;

VisitWales (2000) Achieving Our Potential. Welsh Assembly Government.

DOI: 10.6092/issn.2036-5195/4516


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