By one of those strange coincidences, we are currently working on the development of two new coastal ‘signature visitor experiences’ in Ireland. One focuses on lighthouses in Antrim and Donegal, the other at the maritime heritage of Cork city and harbour. Both are fascinating projects.
Not a ‘Lighthouse Trail’
It has been a delight to work as part of the Genesis team on developing what was initially called ‘The All Island Lighthouse Trail’. It is not going to be called that, Genesis’ branding team have sorted that out (but there is no way I am going to spill the beans here). We have long said that interpretive master planners should work more closely with the branding consultants. Here we have been able to do that and it has been great.
Our role has been to focus on the strategy for visitor experience and interpretation across the whole network of lighthouses and then to develop detailed plans for five lighthouses.
The timescale was frighteningly tight and we were not helped by the storms that prevented us getting to Rathlin Island at the beginning of January but we have now passed the plans onto fellow team members interpretive designers Tandem who will implement them.
A Thematic Framework for the Maritime Heritage of Cork
When we haven’t been climbing lighthouses and talking to communities on the north coast we’ve been getting to know the many facets of the maritime heritage of Cork.
The city has a fantastic natural harbour and an extraordinary connection with the sea. During the age of sail Cork was one of Europe’s greatest trading ports. The tangible evidence of those days has almost disappeared and visitors have scant, if any awareness, of maritime Cork.
The outcomes of our detailed interpretive master-planning exercise will support providers in delivering a coherent story about Cork and ‘telling the best stories in the best ways at the best places’.
This project too is entering its end phase with a series of meetings and a workshop to share and consult on our draft report. Our final report should be finished in March.
It has been brilliant to have Carolyn Lloyd Brown join our team for this project. Her vast experience, particularly of heritage-based regeneration, and undaunted enthusiasm have been invaluable. We have also been able to see her transform into The Heritage Angel before our eyes.