We are delighted to announce that our entry to the Northern Ireland Tourism Awards 2018 ‘Artisans at Work’ has successfully been shortlisted in the category: Authentic NI Experience of the Year

As the only area in the UK to host this unique tourism service the Économusée, Artisans at Work project will help to increase tourism spend in the Causeway Coast and Glens area and wider region by bringing and adapting an international concept developed in Quebec in Canada, to our shores offering visitors a truly authentic Northern Ireland cultural experience.

There are currently six Économusée workshops sited along or near the Causeway Coastal Route – Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil in Limavady, Broughgammon Goat Farm and Ursa Minor Bakehouse in Ballycastle, Scullion Hurls in Loughgiel, Steensons Jewellers in Glenarm and Hillstown Brewery in Ahoghill. The Économusée project allows visitors to interact with artisans in the rural workshops, sample the products all produced on site and the opportunity to observe authentic craft demonstrations.

The six workshops meet the demand and expectations of today’s key tourism market segments targeting families, the mature cosmopolitan, the culturally curious, the great escapers and the social energisers with the advantage of being open all year round. Each workshop provides a year round opportunity to promote premium local craft products, stimulating all five senses through audio presentations, face-to-face demonstrations, taste, smell and interactive displays.  Within the workshops visitors will experience the sounds of woodcarving and the smell of freshly carved ash at Scullion Hurls; the chance to hold and smell hops from all around the world before they enter the brewing system at Hillstown Brewery; the scent of freshly baked sourdough at Ursa Minor; the opportunity to meet the playful and curious kid goats at Broughgammon; try on the Game of Thrones Jewellery at Steensons and sample the various fusions of rapeseed oil at Broighter Gold.

The artisan workshop provides a unique, enhanced visitor experience, which incorporates culture, history, traditional craft, food, drink and sport.  The handcrafted products found within these rural hidden gems are influenced by the surrounding and outstanding landscape of the Causeway Coast & Glens area.  Step into Steensons and view the exquisite, bespoke Northern Reflections collection, which is Inspired by the rolling Antrim Hills and Causeway Coast. Visit Broglasco Farm at the foot of Binevenagh and learn about the Broighter Hoard, the finest treasure trove of the Irish Iron Age, found in a field near the farm in 1896 and lending its name to the rapeseed oil produced and bottled at Broighter Gold.

Each Économusée artisan has their own story to share, illustrated with storyboards, infographics, leaflets, books and samples carefully mapped throughout the workshops to capture the journey, the history, craft and skill of the artist.

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our 6 hardworking and forward-thinking Économusée artisans and hope they will join us for an evening of celebrations at the Northern Ireland Tourism Awards 2018 – 40th Anniversary in the Europa Hotel Belfast, on Thursday 24th May 2018



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