Alana Green, Project Lead, made a detailed presentation to Members on the Hericoast project that included :

• Update from previous presentation to MD

• Steering group meeting

• Launching of public participation app

• Release of promotional video

• Next steps and potential further opportunities

It was noted that Joe Duffy has moved from the project and been replaced by Aideen Quinn.

Steering Group 

The first Stakeholder meeting took place on 14th July, 2017 in the Silver Tassie Hotel Letterkenny. The list of attendees included Donegal Tourism, LYIT, marine Institute, Irish Landscape Institute, Heritage Council, Western Development Commission, Northern & Western Regional Assembly, LEO (Local Enterprise Office) and Failte Ireland as well as cross sectoral and Directorate representations from Donegal County Council.

The presentation made was essentially as Members had already participated in as this was the first Stakeholder meeting and included

• Hericoast project background

• Digitization of data

• Presentation of spatial data

• Group discussion and feedback

This was a successful meeting with Stakeholders realising the benefits in the methodology developed by the Hericoast team to their organizations. Another meeting is scheduled for early 2018.

Launching of Public Participation App

The Public participation App was shown to Members with the link emailed. It is called Coastal experience in Donegal. There is a crowd sourcing story map hosted on the Donegal maps portal. This is the “practice of obtaining information or input into a task or project by enlisting the services of a large number of people, typically via the internet”. Anyone can upload photos etc which can be used to engage a specific audience. Data can be collated that would not be available through traditional sources. In particular, intangible elements of heritage such as rural traditions, island culture, building traditions wouldn't be available through traditional data analysis. The App will work through any device or platform and does not need to be downloaded. It is designed to be promoted on social media.

Release of the Hericoast promotional video

The production of a promotional video is one of the required outputs of the European project and it will go on the Interreg Europe website. This video will be an example of our coastal environment.

Next steps and potential further opportunities

There is continued work with the European Partners on the exchange of Best Practices alongside exploring further potential opportunities following the Stakeholder event. These include an upcoming meeting with the Heritage Council and Queen’s University Belfast whereby students from the planning degree course would work with the Hericoast team and carry out research within the county. There has been further collaboration with the Western Development Commission with interest in using the Hericoast methodologies developed for working with communities, Stakeholders and elected representatives. These are examples of everyone working together. There has also been some engagement with Scottish Island Authorities in conjunction with some of the projects that are hoped to be progressed within the county via the EU Unit.

There has been substantial engagement with local groups such as Fanad Lighthouse and Creevy Co-Op. It is vital that the project is built from the bottom up with the co-operation of local groups.

There was an opportunity for feedback from elected representatives. Cllr Murray thanked the team for the further update. Cllr Crossan said it was an excellent project and great for tourism and to promote the county. Cllr Canning thanked the team and asked if there had been any input into the County Development Plan from what we had learned. The team replied that there is a lot of cross over through research within the Planning Unit and it is all beneficial to Donegal. It is hoped that the research will also help to inform the Marine Spatial Plan and other future projects.

18 persons attended the meeting