Did you know that 2018 is the official European Year of Cultural Heritage (EYCH)? Of course not. But it is. The Whitehall mandarins saw the ‘E’ word and said ‘no thank you Jean-Claude’. But that’s not the only national administration we have in our UK, thanks to devolution. And there is one with a direct border to Europe that understandably takes a different view (literally, it’s across a field not the English Channel). So, Northern Ireland (NI) took a look and said, ‘that’s interesting, what could we do with this?’. Following on from our work to develop a heritage tourism framework for NI, we were asked to look at this question, made all the more challenging by it being autumn 2017 already. But with the help of the culture and heritage communities across NI, we assessed what could be achieved in 2018, but much more importantly what could happen after that. Yes, legacy, but more than that – taking the opportunity to change how cultural heritage can operate at a national level. Our recommendations are bold but deliverable, and the results will be fascinating – just stick around a few years to see them.
Image: Game of Thrones location tours