StoryTagging is a two-year Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme (NPA) transnational project worth €1 million,
that harnesses the power of storytelling to support northern creative industries.

The StoryTagging project combines traditional storytelling with modern technologies to help increase the visibility and market reach of creative practitioners working in remote areas. The project will develop a digital platform (both a website and Apple and Android apps) that will allow creatives to harness those stories that make Northern regions distinct: place, identity & community; folklore; cultural heritage; landscape & natural heritage.

Partners (Kvarken Councils is one of the partners) will work with local communities to gather up to 30 stories in each partner country and present these in a variety of multimedia formats. Creative practitioners in each of the partner countries will then be invited to apply for a small grant allowing them to develop new products or works inspired by these stories.

The digital platform will be used to both bank the stories and to market and sell the products to online visitors. It will collect data analytics allowing creatives to better understand their global audience. The project will also create a skills hub to train participants in digital marketing skills. At the end of the project, this platform will be available for the use of communities and creatives across the NPA area as a not-for profit business model will be adopted to sustain the digital platform.

Northword is the brand name that will be adopted for the digital platform being developed.

With partners in Northern Ireland, Finland, Sweden, Russia and Scotland, the project has four key objectives:

1 Establishing StoryTagging technology (led by Robert Gordon University)
A website and both Apple and Android apps will be developed allowing users to bank stories and to market and sell products. The digital platform will also host a skills hub to train participants in digital marketing skills.

2 Gathering stories that celebrate the natural and cultural heritage of a northern region (led by Ulster University)
Each project partner will work with local communities and storytellers to collect and record stories that celebrate the cultural and natural assets that make northern localities distinct.

3 Bringing stories to life (led by the University of the Highlands and Islands)
Creative practitioners in each country will be invited to
create a new product or work, such as textiles, crafts, jewellery, art, music, film, photography, dance and theatre, inspired by these stories. A documentary will be produced recording this process.

4 Sustaining the platform (led by the Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust)
After the project finishes the marketing concept will continue under the brand name Northword. The digital platform will be sustained to allow participating communities to continue to use the apps and website. A skills hub will be created encouraging new users to utilise the platform.

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