The Portalis team are busy sharing our story and exciting project details at a number of events throughout this month, kicking off in Ireland by celebrating Europe Day with our stakeholders in Wexford. Portalis maps the story of the first journey between Ireland and Wales, dating back to the Mesolithic period, 10,000 years ago, in the context of contemporary resilience and climate adaptation, for local coastal communities and their visitors.

Portalis joined other European funded project teams to showcase the work being done through the European Regional Development Fund at Wexford County Council’s Europe Day event on May 9th. Europe Day celebrates Europe’s shared history and looks to future challenges, celebrating the strength in working together in unity.

Portalis is a design led transdisciplinary pilot project, supported by the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Cooperation Programme, The €1.95 million project aims to raise awareness, protect shared cultural and natural heritage and support sustainable engagement, establishing two new experiential tourism and cultural cross-border networks.

The project is led by South East Technological University (SETU) and is supported by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Ceredigion County Council and Waterford Chamber of Commerce.

The Ireland Wales 2014-2020 European Territorial Co-operation (ETC) programme is a maritime programme connecting businesses and communities on the West coast of Wales with the South-East coast of Ireland. The programme focuses on seeking solutions to shared challenges including adaption of the Irish Sea and coastal communities to climate change, and cultural and natural resources and heritage.

Speaking after the event Donal Nolan from Waterford Chamber of Commerce said: “Our remit as part of this project is to establish a network that will facilitate future co-operation between the regions and enhance the experience for the local communities as tourists flow between the Welsh and Irish sites. Throughout this project, we want to work with local communities to help them develop their cultural resources to make their area a better place to visit and live in.”

Dr. Yvonne Byrne, Portalis EU Project Manager, SETU, noted “We were delighted to celebrate Europe Day with a diverse array of other inspiring European Initiatives in Wexford. Portalis offers a unique opportunity to create a greater understanding of Ireland’s rich heritage which can be utilised to develop exciting and interactive tourism experiences.”

There are lots of opportunities for people on both sides of the Irish sea to enjoy participating in our activities over the coming months, including Public Archaeology and Citizen Science events; State-of-the-art new VR supported visitor experience designs at two key museums in Ireland and Wales, linking with destination experiences along our coasts; Film-making; a new mobile and tablet app; a 3D online exhibition plus many more exciting events and initiatives that will support communities and businesses in Ireland and Wales.

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