A two-year £1m storytelling project led by Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Orkney will be developing a digital platform to support small and medium enterprises (SME) in the creative industries in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Finland, Sweden and Russia. The platform will host trails, movies, information about locations and events, and stories that celebrate language, dialect and culture, economic heritage, traditions, history, folklore, landscape and archaeology in each country. Project partners will work with SMEs in their areas to stimulate economic development by bringing the stories to life through new products or services, which will then be mapped via the platform.
Elsa Cox, RGU’s Orkney Development Manager said Orkney’s strong history of storytelling brings “ large numbers of visitors to the islands annually, keen to experience the landscape and local culture for themselves. She continued: “Creative SME’s in the North of Scotland face similar economic challenges to those based across the project area due to location, distance to market and even lack of internet connection. With the potential to make it easier to do business sustainably in remote regions, the StoryTagging project has a great deal to offer locally.”
The project builds on the Orkney-based Trails to Tales pilot project which saw the creation of the Orkney Folklore Trail App. Developed in response to an opportunity identified by the local community, and in collaboration with local storytellers, musicians and illustrators, the app shares stories as part of a trail encouraging engagement with the landscape and distribution of visitors to ease pressure on World Heritage sites.