Northern Ireland news

Three 'Giants of the Sperrins' will drive rural tourism

Copenhagan based artist, Thomas Dambo, whose work includes the "Isak Heartstone Sculpture" in Colorado, USA (pictured), has been recruited to help develop and install the "Giants of the Sperrins".
Seamus McKinney

THREE huge “Giants of the Sperrins” are to be installed along one of the north’s most scenic hill ranges as part of a sculpture trail aimed at promoting rural tourism.

The sculptures will be installed at three locations along the Sperrin range, spanning three council areas in a £1.9m investment in the area’s built heritage.

The art pieces will eventually form the Sperrin Sculpture Trail with artwork at Cranagh (Derry and Strabane council), Mullaghcarn (Fermanagh and Omagh) and Davagh Forest (Mid Ulster).

Internationally acclaimed artist Thomas Dambo – whose previous work includes the iconic Isak Heartstone Sculpture in Colorado – has been recruited along with the McGurk Architects to undertake the work.

Based on the theme “The Giants of the Sperrins”, it is hoped the project will embrace the inspirational nature of the landscape and the “giant spirit and welcome of the people”.

Agriculture Minister, Edwin Poots said the project was part of the “rural tourism scheme”, established to encourage rural tourism.

“We believe that investing in tourism projects in rural areas will enable not only linkages to be made to other local attractions, but also the development of tourism corridors, which will encourage and in crease visitor footfall from tourism hotspots into the great rural outdoors,” Mr Poots said.

The project has been welcomed by council leaders in Derry and Strabane, Mid Ulster and Fermanagh and Omagh.

A public information session on the project will take place on Thursday June 10 (7pm). Registration can be completed by contacting Philip McShane at philip.mcshane@derrystrabane.com.

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