Destination development – Nature Trend Days

Destination development group 3. Photo: Elisabeth K. Brodal

Written by: Kristina Bore, Christina Berstad, Maria Barcons, Espen Stensrud, Elisabeth K. Brodal, Destination development group 3, autumn 2019, University of South-Eastern Norway, campus Bø.

Nature Trend Days

Our concept to the CUPIDO project is to make a program that represents Ulefoss in a summer festival called Telemarksveka. The festival is a one week festival in cooperation with TV2, with small and bigger events all around in Telemark. As we did some research, we noticed that Ulefoss is not really represented in this festival. Nome is partly represented, with Kanalrennet in Lunde. We want to represent Ulefoss in the best way to attract national tourists and also draw some attention to the fact that people could move there.

TelemarksVeka is already a concept,  the main idea around TelemarksVeka is to promote different places in Telemark, and to get more tourists to visit Telemark, to create an interest for Telemark for people who does not live here.  They make events in Bø, Lunde, Notodden and shows the places from their best sides. They are using TV2 to send it on tv, to get TV2 included they have been using celebrities so people will have a good reason to look at the show at TV, and attend the event.

After some research, we found out that Ulefoss is not included at TelemarksVeka at all, so our idea is to make an event for Ulefoss, called Nature Trend Days! We thought to include/represent Ulefoss in Telemarksveka would be a great opportunity to show TV watchers what the destination has to offer. Also prove that Ulefoss has something to be proud of, and it has potential to be an amazing tourist destination after all. In our program for TelemarksVeka we want to include both cultural and nature components and make the event in a modern way.

Øvre Verket. Foto: Maren Sandbakk

To attract the television and more people we want to use famous Team Ingebrigtsen. To show people the beautiful nature Nome has to offer, we will arrange a hike with Team Ingebrigtsen. Here people can sign up, and walk the beautiful Skarravegen, from Ulefoss to Vrangfoss. On the walk you pass Ulefoss Hovedgaard with its beautiful park and museum with old horse vehicles. You pass Eidsfoss sluice by going over the steam gates and end up at Vrangfoss sluice, which  with is five locks is the canal’s largest and most impressive building. We also want to use Jenny Skavlan to have a fashion show. This will be in cooperation with the clothing stores Cigill in Ulefoss and Victoria & Henrik in Lunde. There will be shown clothes from their stores, but locals will also have the opportunity to donate clothes they don’t use anymore, and other people can buy them after. This is a activity supporting the huge trend we have now in sustainability and also hence the name.

To illustrate the heritage and the local culture of Ulefoss, and show it so people will explore it and feel it, we would like to use AR in cooperation with MS Victoria. The visitors will be able to see how Ulefoss looked 100-200 years ago, with the iron factory and they will see how they lived that long ago. We will illustrate the old houses, and also with someone telling the story of Ulefoss so it will be put into context. This is something that could be a permanent activity in Ulefoss in cooperation with Telemarkskanalen.

MS Victoria. Foto: Maren Sandbakk

To complete the event, we need the entire local community to collaborate. And we need available resources as Søve High School, MS Victoria, Nome Municipality, Telemarkskanalen, Øvre Verket and TelemarksVeka. We need this resources to promote the local identity, so we can show Ulefoss from their best site, and include every small detail.

As stakeholders we want to use local firms, to invest and to participate in the project. Local companies should have something to offer to the visitors and tourists, they should prepare offers, sales, free entrance. We want the whole town to gain something on this project over time.

Our target group would mainly be families, but of course we want to reach out to everyone. This will mostly be people from the cities/towns nearby such as Seljord, Notodden, Bø etc. The arrangement will be mostly fitted for families, which they can participate in.

Compared to earlier years, there is now a greater desire for authentic cultural experiences where the tourists wants to experience something different. This is something we are trying to offer the tourists visiting Ulefoss/Nome/Telemark.. This goes under the trend social and cultural. There is also a significant increase in the use of every sort of technology. That is why we want to adapt the AR with the app, as everyone always has their phone with them now. Our use of Team Ingebrigtsen would also go under this category, as they are huge in social media, and will give us even greater expansion. 

We want to arrange the activities so that it is as sustainable as possible, as that is a huge tourism trend now. For example we want to attract a market that isn’t too dependent on too much travel, therefore appeal to the people in Bø, Sauherad, Skien etc. Also arrange it so that people get the best experience possible because that is what people expect, especially when it comes to customer service etc.

We also want to make Nome more competitive as a destination, we feel like they aren’t doing enough to raise the tourism market within the destination. There is a increasing trend when it comes to tourism, people are traveling more than ever and they want to experience something different, this is something we had in the back of our heads when developing our idea.

We decided to implement artificial reality while MS Victoria is taking place, visitors/tourists will be allowed to see how was Ulefoss village 200 years ago and its heritage from the river coast. They would only need to download the AR application on their mobile phone, for the ones who can not download it we would provide them tablets so that everybody could enjoy the experience.

First of all through Telemarksveka. This is marketed through TV, and also a lot on Facebook with different events that people can engage in. We would also use the popular platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. To reach out to our audience we would choose platform depending on which they use the most and where it’s easiest to reach them. To attract both locals and people from the bigger cities we want to focus the marketing on local experience and support. We know that the marketing true celebrities profiles gives a extreme range, they have a lot of followers both young and adults, so we are hoping that the celebrities who will take a part of the event, will promote it on their own social channel. We will also ask to use the social channels of Visit Bø, and local newspapers. (TA, Bø blad, Kanalen).

We strongly believe that this will bring more attention to Nome as a destination. Because of the use of nature, AR and celebrities it will hopefully reach out to a lot of people, and highlight some of the attractions Nome has to offer. 

Destination development – Ironworks Experience

Destination development group 2. Photo: Private

Written by: Paula Sánchez, Caroline Andersen, Mariken Andersen, Stian Andersen og Mohamad Abdul-Rahman Aziz, Destination development group 2, autumn 2019, University of South-Eastern Norway, campus Bø.

Ironworks Experience

Introduction

For this work, we chose to focus on Ulefoss’ industrial history. Their industrial history is relevant for Norway as it is one of the oldest industrial operations in the country. More specifically we are going to use the ironworks as a museum where visitors could buy tickets to either explore the museum by themselves or sign up for an organized tour. We are going to include other aspects to this tour to make it a unique experience.

How it came about

During the brainstorming phase of this project, we had a couple of ideas, with one that stood out: the Ulefoss and Lunde Town Festival. This festival was going to span over a weekend, and we had planned many activities so that everyone who visit would have something to do.

We were set on this idea, until we were told, by our lecturer, to cut down on the activities, the target groups, and drop the activities in Lunde, and instead just focus on our AR aspect of the festival, and thus was our lecturers idea born, The Ironworks Experience.

Local identity and DNA

So for this idea, we have as the main focus to showcase Nome’s history and culture. We will have a historical tour, that will showcase the beginnings of the industrial manufacturing. In addition to that, we will showcase the culture of the area by introducing the visitors to local produced food, and having a paintings gallery showcase by Elisabeth De Lunde at Ulefoss ironwork, and maybe have her husband, Jakob Zethner perform a little opera concert in an empty area in the ironworks.

Available resources

To make our event into reality we are depending on some available resources around in Nome. The municipality will also help us with funding and organize different stands and where we can have them. The farmers will help us provide with local products that a catering company from Notodden called «Det lille extra» will use to serve people food.

Unavailable resources

For the unavailable resources, we have concluded that we only need the help of an external company related to IT, to carry out the explanation of these virtual reality activities. And also to help and monitor that the activity is carried out devoutly.

To get financial help for the ironwork’s experience, we had thought about promoting some local businesses, making a raffle, maybe the municipality of Nome can help or cultural organizations want to participate in the festival.

Target groups

At our festival, we are gonna be focusing on the Norwegian people (people from other countries are welcomed as well), locals and others. We will be focusing on families that could be interested in the industrial history of Norway in a new modern method, AR. In addition to focusing on students (Organized school trips), we thought it would be interesting for schools if they organized student trips to Nome, so they could visit our one-day ironwork experience day. The students will then learn and check out AR, and also learn more about the history of Nome (ironworks).

Stakeholders

We have also been in contact with different stakeholders that will help us with activities and products at the festival. The famous Topaz shoes will be present in the festival and the organization will help us with prizes and stands. The famous artist Elisabeth De Lunde and her husband Jakob Zethner will have a gallery of paintings and an opera performance. This is a very exclusive for this event and we hope this will engage people. The local paper Kanalen will help with marketing and make people be aware of the festival. We will also have Topaz present their different models of shoes and sponsor us with prizes for the people who are coming.

Trends

Trends that we are focusing most on are sustainability, history, environmentally friendly impact and the use of modern technology.

By providing the catering company with local products from the farmers to cook for the visitors, we would have managed to support the locals, and we will not have to think about transport of all the ingredients and products, which is environmentally friendly. In addition to that, by having our entire program happening in the ironworks, no fuel would need to be used to move the visitors around. This will also in turn immerse the visitors more into the historic aspect of the tour.

And finally by using new technology, we manage to add a sense of immersion and making the entire experience more interesting and unique to the ironworks.

Marketing

We will be focusing on having an good communication plan with the participants, from the beginning to the end. We are gonna be using social media to market our Ironworks experience day, as well as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. At Facebook we could create an own event for the festival. We will also be creating an own webpage for the day. Since we are trying to attract different target groups, we might have to use other ways than the internet, like newspapers, posters, send out information in posts, emails, and radio would also be an option. This is because not everyone might be updated on social media and we want to reach out to as many people as we can. That’s why we have to use different kinds of marketing.

AR (augmented reality)

We intend to use AR for two main reasons, first is how user friendly this technology is, and secondly how widely available this technology is, and could fit into anyone’s smart phone. The combination of these two factors, make this idea easily implementable. If the municipality invests some money into this technology, we could hire some mobile app developers to make an app that can play a part in our historical tour. As the visitors enter the iron works in Ulefoss, we could have QR scan code posters for the app hanging around in the lobby or hall where the tour starts. This will of course require the installation of a free WIFI-signal, so the visitors have the opportunity to download the app. As the tour starts, we can have specific parts of the tours to be interactive with our app.

These parts or areas of the tour could be machinery, hallways or other areas where some sort of activity was present when the factory was working, and when the visitors would point their phone cameras on them, a visual presentation of the scene would appear on their phone screens in real time. For example, if we pick a hallway where workers used to go through to get to their work, the visitors would point their phone cameras on this hallway, and on the screen, they would see the hallway projected from their camera, and on top of that, an animation of workers from that era would be walking through the hallway. This could be done across parts of the museum that the tour organizers would recognize as important.

Come to Nome and work out!

The Canal Race in Lunde, June 2019. Photo: Maren Sandbakk

One of the big happenings in the small village of Lunde in Nome municipality is the Canal Race (Kanalrennet). The 50 km long rollerski race begins and ends in Lunde, and the trail take you along the Telemark Canal and through the beautiful landscape of Flåbygd.

In 2019, 360 people participated in the Canal Race, from children and youth in the Canal Race Junior to cross country skiings biggest international stars, like Therese Johaug, Niklas Dyrhaug and Jessica Diggins. The last weekend in June all of Lunde is upside-down, with 130 volunteers working hard to make it the best experience for both participants and audience.

Responsible for the Canal Race is the sports club IL Skade. They now want to develop the race and make Nome the chosen place for sport clubs and teams when they gather for training camps. Together with the CUPIDO KRAFT project in Nome, Terje Mognes in Skade sports club, Peter van Heerebeek at Lunde Hostel and Erling Skoe at Telemark Kanalcamping have searched and found 30 new beds in Lunde. This means that even more people can come to Lunde and participate in the race.

Left to right: Erling Skoe at Telemark Kanalcamping, Peter van Heerebeek at Lunde Hostel and Terje Mognes from Skade sports club. Photo: Mikkel Helweg

For the last three years, the national Norwegian cross country skiing team have stayed in Lunde the week before the race to train together. Terje Mognes from Skade sports club want more teams and sports club to do as the national team, and choose Lunde as their destination.

-There is a fantastic terrain for rollerskiing and other types of training, there is a rollerskiing trail from Bø to Lunde, and there are trails and roads with little traffic. It is good opportunities for everyone, from young children to the elite, says Terje Mognes.

Nome has a mild climate, so outdoor training without snow is possible from April to October. The aim is to attract more teams not just in summer, but also in the spring and autumn.

-The entire area will benefit from it. This means sales and visits to the village for both accommodation and restaurants, says Mognes.

Therese Johaug won the women’s class in 2019. Photo: Maren Sandbakk

Destination development – Iron Games Ulefoss

Group 1: Sahal Mohammed Abdulle, Raissa-Ingunn Volden, Barabara Rebeca Ajtujal. Photo: Elisabeth Kastet Brodal.

Written by: Rebeca Ajtujal, Sahal Mohammed Abdulle , Raissa-Ingunn Volden Destination development group 1, autumn 2019, University of South-Eastern Norway, campus Bø.

Iron Games Ulefoss

When you visit Ulefoss, its industrial soul, history, infrastructure and architecture stand out. The iron foundry was founded in 1657. At the end of the 17th century, the iron foundry was Norway’s largest producer of different types of iron. This activity is part of the cultural heritage and it is important to value it, keep it and pass it on to the future generation in order to conserve it.

We felt the iron factory and the history around it were at the core of Ulefoss and how it came to be what it is today. At Øvre Verket you will get a sense of how people lived from the first half of the nineteenth century after the factory entered the Cappelen family’s possessions. Additionally, you will get to see some of the objects produced in the iron factory, which is situated only a few minutes’ walk away from Øvre Verket. Given the importance it has in Ulefoss it could be much more exploited.

The worker’s homes at Øvre Verket. Photo: Rebeca Ajtujal

Today the main production of the iron factory is manhole covers. Of all the other products they produced over the years, only a few beautiful oven models from the early years of the factory are still produced in a limited number. Unfortunately, the iron factory is not open to visitors for security reasons.

Our idea is to allow people to “visit” the factory nonetheless using VR and be able to see how it works in a far more engaging and interesting way than traditional short films or just guides talking. The idea is to show the process of iron forging now with the current techniques and technology, and thereafter show how it would have been done when the factory was created, so people can see the evolution. The VR would naturally be available both in English and Norwegian, and maybe in other languages depending on where the majority of visitors come from.

Iron games escape room

The industrial vibe and the presence of the iron factory and objects are great ingredients for escape rooms, and as Ulefoss doesn’t have an escape room yet, we think this would also work great in combination with the VR. The museum (Øvre Verket) is a good place for establishing this for economic reasons (if one or several of the existing houses can be used rather than having to build a new building,) but also because it is situated in vicinity of the actual iron forgery (2-3 minutes’ walk) making it more real for tourists. In addition, the museum contains real ancient objects from the forgery, and we think that after learning and seeing the process through VR it is important to have something tangible to look at and the opportunity to buy some minor objects as souvenirs. The escape room could be situated in one of the bigger buildings with several rooms if we want a longer and more complex escape story. In terms of the content it should build on the formation of iron, its chemical properties and other characteristics such as its role in the human body. It will also address how iron has been used from the iron age until today and how it has been produced throughout the different ages including how it is done today in Ulefoss Jernverk.

The manhole covers from Ulefoss can be found all over the world. Photo: Rebeca Ajtujal

Marketing

From a marketing perspective, package deals should be proposed for people travelling with the canal boat (boat, VR, escape room, visit of the rest of the museum) and also for those travelling by other means. For example, packages including bus tickets (from Bø, Skien…) to Ulefoss with the VR, escape room and museum. This would be especially relevant for students. We also think they should have package deals with and without the escape rooms, since the latter will probably not be as relevant for older tourists or tourists who have a short amount of time to visit Ulefoss.

In order to promote the destination in a more cost-efficient way, the municipality or Telemark museum could propose internships to marketing and Tourism students. Special deals could be offered to high schools and universities who promote Ulefoss on their webpages (English and Norwegian). This would require the collaboration of the municipality, the factory owner, the county, the bus company (Telemarkekspressen), the students who would be interested in promoting these attractions in exchange for internships and the University’s involved.

One of the challenges Ulefoss faces in the tourism sector is its lack of visitors in the low season. Both the escape room and the VR would attract people throughout the whole year. Our main target groups would be university students in the area. Companies and other organisations could be interested in using the escape room for team building, while middle school classes from both Midt-Telemark, Nome and Grenland could incorporate the Museum with the VR as part of their education program in history.

After visiting Øvre Verket, the VR or the escape room it would be good to have a sales point where people can buy small traditional objects such as miniature manhole covers, jewellery made with iron, mini “Troll-biler” and other traditional objects that are easy to transport. These souvenirs could also be sold on the Telemarkanal boats.

One of the challenges in making this project possible is obtaining the permission from the iron factory owners to enter the factory in order to film and make the VR actually possible. Although this may be complicated, we think it is in their interest as well given that we would be promoting their factory, its brand name and its products to a broad public.

– A magical and atmospheric Viking adventure

The artists who play at Horg Culture House are displayed on the wall of fame. Photo: Maren Sandbakk

It all started as a joke in a small wood shed in Lunde, but rumors of the world’s smallest culture house have spread in music circles. In just one year, Horg Kulturhus (culture house) has gained a solid fanbase, and several artists contact Helge Strand asking him if they can come and play their music in the intimate and special venue.
– I like to make things happen, he says.

After the official opening with an art exhibition on October 6th last year, Tove Bøygard, Stig Ulv, Caroline Bonnet, Randi Tytingvåg Trio and Enok Amrani have played at Horg Kulturhus. In addition, Theater Fabel has played the performances Voluspa’ and Master Jakel.

-I’ve always been going to a lot of concerts. We lived in Bergen for 20 years, and there it was a concert almost every weekend. So when you come here, you miss it. Then I had to create it myself, says Strand about how Horg Kulturhus was created.
The word “horg” is a Norse word for a gathering place. The choice of name stems from the desire to create a meeting place for people in Lunde.
-There is a need for people to come out and meet each other. I think this place helps to fill this need, he says.

The concept is to give people a cultural and musical experience, preferably in Norwegian, performed in a small and intimate space. With room for only 20 guests the music experience becomes special, close and intense.
-I sit here and smile by myself every time there is a concert. There has been a real feel-good atmosphere at all the concerts up until now. People who go to a lot of shows actually say it is the greatest they have ever experienced. Getting that feedback from people who have been to maybe 300 concerts in their lives, and then they say this is the best !!! says Helge Strand happily.

Screenshot from Instagram

In addition to creating his own concert experiences, Strand is committed to supporting other cultural actors. That’s why he started the tradition “Horg drar på bortekamp” (“Horg goes away”), where he and guests from Horg Kulturhus travel and see the artists who have played in Lunde at other concert venues.

The aim for next year is six new concerts. The first two artists have already been published; in May 2020 Tom Roger Aadland and Ottar Kåsa play the first two concerts at Horg.
-I get a lot of positive feedback from people in Lunde who think it’s cool that something is happening and that it’s a little different. Because there aren’t many places like this around, Strand says.

Hege Strand presents one of the first artists to play at Horg in May 2020. Photo: Private

I am so lucky!!!!! Yesterday I played in the soulful and very special Horg culture house in Lunde. That house is like going into a magical and atmospheric Viking adventure, with Culture House managers Helge Strand and Berit Reknes welcoming you with open arms and warm cheeks, thank you very much for everything you do for people and culture! And the nicest crowd, with their heart on their sleeves.”

– Artist Tove Bøygard on Instagram after playing at Horg Culture House

Breakfast and business

Project Manager Marit Svalastog informs representatives from different businesses in Central Telemark about the CUPIDO project. All photos: Maren Sandbakk

In the KRAFT project in Nome we work, among other things, to link companies together, because we know that collaboration between different actors can lead to completely new ideas and products, and that through collaboration we can strengthen each other. The project will look at culture and heritage as a driving force for increased business development, but that does not mean that other companies have nothing to contribute. So-called hard industries (IT, technology etc.) have a completely different view of culture and can contribute with technology into the cultural industry.

Lill and Odd Wollberg from Lerkekåsa vineyard in Gvarv tell about their work.

Therefore, it was important for us in KRAFT to inform about the project at a breakfast meeting for businesses at Aarnes cafeteria, arranged by Midt-Telemark Business Development (MTNU), where we could reach several different players in Nome and the surrounding area. We asked the question “can small, sustainable cultural companies attract young people?” and we asked for input on how we can work together on this.

Business development, more migrants and an attractive place to live and work are several sides of the same issue. Attracting people to live and work in Nome requires a good reputation. That’s why we also took the opportunity to come up with a call to action: Talk nicely to each other! Raise each other, tell customers where to find other great services in Nome and brag about each other. #togetherforNome

Finding Nome – Destination development

On our way into the artist home Villa Lunde. All photos: Maren Sandbakk

Since the University of South-Eastern Norway in Bø is a partner in the CUPIDO project, we have involved the students from the course Destination development this fall. The students will use Nome as a case in their assignments. To find inspiration, we visited two culture businesses who shared their experiences with us.

Elisabeth de Lunde is telling the story of Villa Lunde and what kind of experiences the want to give their guests. The large painting on the wall is one of her works.
What used to be an old garage is now a concert hall and shop, decorated with Elisabeth’s paintings.
The manager of Øvre Verket, Mette Sanden, explains the development they have had the last five years.

Over the past five years, Øvre Verket at Ulefoss has been in a process of restructuring with the aim of becoming a meeting place for the locals. Øvre Verket has both challenges and opportunities, and is working hard to become a full-year concept. The preserved environment with factory worker homes is unique in its kind and forms a strong part of Ulefoss’ cultural history. But how can it be developed into a sustainable year-round concept?

Heidi Elise Kvale is head of the department for Culture, Leisure and Public Health in Nome municipality.

Nome municipality has many challenges, but also great potential for development as a tourist destination. The head of Culture, Leisure and Public Health in Nome Municipality, Heidi Elise Kvale, discusses the challenges and opportunities in Nome, which must be taken into account when designing concepts for development of Nome as a destination.

The students are testing Øvre Verket in Ulefoss.

Destination development – we have got students!

Ready for destination development! Photo: Maren Sandbakk

Three of the partners in the CUPIDO project are universities: the University of St Andrews in the United Kingdom, the University of applied sciences HOWEST in Belgium, and the University of South-Eastern Norway, campus Bø. Their task is to contribute to research on business development in rural areas.

The bachelor’s degree in International marketing and tourism contains the subject of Destination Development, where students will learn about sustainable destination development. Throughout the fall, students will use Nome as a case study for the assignments. Can they come up with new business ideas related to culture and heritage? Do they have ideas for new products and concepts based on Nome’s DNA? Do they have ideas for which companies and players can collaborate?

A taste of culture and cultiral heritage in Nome. Photo: Anne Gry Sturød

Musical magic along the Telemark Canal

A different stage for opera singer Emil Solli-Tangen from Porsgrunn. All photos: Maren Sandbakk

Our aim with the CUPIDO project is, among other things, to strengthen the existing companies in Nome. A key word here is collaboration – can new concepts and products be born when different players come together? The answer is YES!

An excellent example of this is the meeting between Villa Lunde; the artist home of painter Elisabeth de Lunde and opera singer Jakob Zethner in Lunde, and the traditional canal boats that carry many thousand passengers up and down the Telemark Canal every summer. The result was two musical cruises, from Ulefoss to Skien, and a truly unique way to experience the landscape and the canal. Imagine sitting on the deck in the August sun from blue sky, experiencing cultural heritage and cultural landscapes while listening to classical tones!

– We want to make this a permanent tradition every summer, says Janne Lindgren, head of the canal boats M / S Victoria and M / S Henrik Ibsen. The first concert was called “Showboat” where Hilde Norland Gundersen, Andreas Hoff and Jakob Zethner along with chaplain Espen Gundersen sang gems from the musicals “Showboat” and “The Phantom of the Opera”.

Emil Solli Tangen (t.v.) og Magnus Dorholt Kjeldal singing a duet.

The Sunday after, where the pictures in this post are taken, the concert got a more classic feel.
– It was more fun than I thought, says opera singer Emil Solli Tangen from Porsgrunn, who along with opera singer Magnus Dorholt Kjeldal from Lunde and pianist Dorina Komani sang classical gems from opera and operetta, but also Grieg and Erik Bye. A somewhat unconventional concert scene gave way to an intimate and close concert experience, which ended with standing applause as the boat sailed in to the dock in Skien.

Magnus Dorholt Kjeldal, Emil Solli Tangen og Dorina Komani.
A little break on the deck for pianist Dorina Komani (far right in blue).

Large speakers outside gave the audience the opportunity to enjoy the concert upstairs – which also brought listeners on land. And the feedback from the audience?
– Fantastic!

What is KRAFT?

Sailing along the famous Telemark canal on M/S Victoria. Photo: Maren Sandbakk

In Norwegian, KRAFT is short for “Culture and Cultural Heritage as a Resource for Work, Profit and Belonging”. It is a three-year Interreg North Sea Region project. The name of the project in the EU is actually CUPIDO, which means “Culture Power: Inspire to Develop Rural Areas”. But here in Norway, people associate the name CUPIDO with something completely different (it is the name of an erotic magazine), so to avoid confusion we translated it to KRAFT.

In other words, KRAFT is about using local culture and heritage – the site’s DNA – to create jobs and a viable society that people will live in and can be proud of.

There is a trend around the world that cities are magnets of expertise and social opportunities. The participating regions in CUPIDO share a common challenge: the young people leave, and the remaining population grow older. Can an active cultural life help create jobs and attractiveness? And can this lead to more people choosing to settle in the countryside? How can we in Nome work toward this? With KRAFT, we want to promote culture as a driving force in local and regional development.

An overarching goal is to develop new business opportunities related to culture and cultural heritage, as well as to strengthen existing businesses.

We are 16 partners in the project; from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and the United Kingdom. Each region will contribute to five new small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) during the project period and develop new cultural products. The partners in the project share experiences, learn from each other and contribute to research on business development within culture in rural areas.

The project started in September 2018 and will last until June 2021.

Our partners

Nome Municipality og University of South-Eastern Norway participate in the project from Norway.

Our partners in other countries are:

Partners from all countries met in Marstrand, Sweden in June 2019.