TUS Limerick School of Art and Design (LSAD) has partnered with community response group Bunratty Local Development Association (BLDA) to “Renew Bunratty”, as the project receives €50,000 from Creative Ireland’s Creative Climate Action Fund II.
This community-led, hands-on collaboration between the university and this county Clare Community is a process that has been designed to nurture a sense of caring for the environment in and around Bunratty Castle, one of the biggest tourist attractions in Ireland.
Eleanor Moloney Enterprise and Development at TUS LSAD and project co-ordinator explained that “Renew Bunratty” will help to communicate the importance of sustainable tourism to villages like Bunratty from an ecological, economical and social point of view.
“Tourism can have a significant impact on local communities and the environment. While it can bring economic benefits, it can also contribute to environmental degradation and cultural commodification. Tourism plays a significant role in the current climate crisis, both as a contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and its impact on social issues, such as housing and public service and transport,” she said.
“This project aims to investigate how a fairer and more sustainable model of tourism might be achieved, where the quality of life and heritage can be shared by both locals and visitors without harming the economy and livelihoods of those who depend on tourism for their income.”
Mike Fitzpatrick Dean Limerick School of Art and Design and Director of Cultural Engagement, TUS said “While this project is a community-based project meeting the needs of Bunratty, it is also a project with capacity for scale and has the potential of providing a blueprint for other communities across the region.
“Through a series of place making projects, LSAD with BLDA and the local community will develop a sustainable approach to tourism and local development through intergenerational collaboration and skills exchange, repurposing materials and exploring ways of subtly shifting behaviours to enrich rather than deplete the local ecosystems that first made Bunratty attractive.”
“TUS LSAD is delighted to be working with BLDA to bring this project to fruition and support the great work being undertaken by this community group since 2013,” he added.
The Creative Ireland Programme, in collaboration with the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications is funding 40 recipients including “Renew Bunratty”. A further three recipients are funded as part of the Shared Island initiative of the Department of the Taoiseach.
The Creative Climate Action Fund II: Agents of Change is unique in that it pairs creative minds with experts in climate science, sustainability and biodiversity, all with the aim of connecting the public to the profound changes that are happening in our environment, society and economy arising from climate change and can transform that connection into behaviour change or climate action. The fund received 239 applications from an array of disciplines and industries; Architecture, Creative Facilitation, Film, Participatory Design, Visual Arts, Cultural Heritage, Theatre, Service Design, Dance, Literature, Music, Traditional Arts, Festivals, Circus, Publishing and Press, and Animation and Augmented Reality.