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LEADER I and tourism: some examples

The Creggan Rural Tourism Centre (Northern Ireland)
document type: case study
keywords: tourism, culture
source: LEADER technical dossier
last update:3/95

The Northern Ireland LEADER zone, piloted by the Northern Ireland Rural Council, involves five separate rural areas, each with its own local action group.

These five entities share the same difficulties: high unemployment, excessive dependence on agriculture, high population outflow, housing problems, difficult access to public or private services.

In the Sperrins, an area of hills and peat bogs, farming is the main occupation, but tourism and leisure activities are growing in importance.

Mid Ulster Enterprises (Creggan) Ltd, which is managing the local LEADER programme, has drawn up an integrated development plan revolving around the establishment of a tourism centre near an archaeological site (Bronze Age megaliths, neolithic tombs).

The Creggan Rural Tourism Centre incorporates:

  • - a restored 19th century farm which can provide tourist accommodation;
  • - a cultural and environmental interpretation centre (aim: 20,000 visits per year);
  • - holiday cottages/flats (reconstitution of "clachans", small hamlets of traditional houses);
  • - 3 workshops for craft businesses;
  • - 5 units for the mushroom trade (production, packaging, marketing).

The project has already generated considerable local interest and involvement. The site's cultural vocation - promotion of the Gaelic language and culture - has also strengthened regional identity.

In addition to the indirect economic spin-offs generated by the tourism activity, it is estimated that around 26 jobs have been directly created on the site.

Mushroom production began in January 1994. It involves 2 full-time and 8 part-time employees. Once the interpretation centre becomes fully operational, it will supply four full-time jobs and six seasonal jobs. Between 4 and 6 extra jobs should be created by the craft units.

Group name: Northern Ireland (UK09)

Project type: tourism and cultural centre

Total cost: 1 749,800 ECU

Private: 871,000 ECU

Public: 37,440 ECU

LEADER I: 841,360 ECU

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