Boost for local crafts people

Heather McLachlan, National Trust Director for Northern Ireland; Alan Kane, Chief Executive of Craft NI; Bob Kane, Giants Causeway Retail Manager; Alexandra Mehaffy, North Coast Marketing at the launch of the Made in Northern Ireland craft booklet.
Heather McLachlan, National Trust Director for Northern Ireland; Alan Kane, Chief Executive of Craft NI; Bob Kane, Giants Causeway Retail Manager; Alexandra Mehaffy, North Coast Marketing at the launch of the Made in Northern Ireland craft booklet.

The work of conservation charity National Trust to promote local craftspeople has been applauded by the Head of Craft NI.

Chief Executive Alan Kane was speaking at the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre, when the National Trust launched their Made in Northern Ireland craft booklet and a Meet the Crafters event.

Sandra Hunter, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council; Jane Taggart, Causeway Enterprise Agency; Alan Kane, Craft NI; Heather McLachlan, National Trust; Alastair Walker, Giants Causeway Site Manager; Margaret Dunlop, Retail Buyer; Esther Dobbin, Commercial Operations Manager for the National Trust, at the launch of the Made in Northern Ireland craft booklet and Meet the Crafters event.

Sandra Hunter, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council; Jane Taggart, Causeway Enterprise Agency; Alan Kane, Craft NI; Heather McLachlan, National Trust; Alastair Walker, Giants Causeway Site Manager; Margaret Dunlop, Retail Buyer; Esther Dobbin, Commercial Operations Manager for the National Trust, at the launch of the Made in Northern Ireland craft booklet and Meet the Crafters event.

Eighty per cent of the craft for sale in the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre is made in Northern Ireland, and the craft booklet is a celebration and promotion of crafters.

Retail Manager at the Giant’s Causeway, Bob Kane said: “We are immensely proud of the local crafters’ work we sell in the shop. We have such a strong international audience coming to the Giant’s Causeway and we wanted to tell our visitors about the local people who make the crafts we stock. These booklets are available free-of-charge for visitors to take home and we hope they will lead to future online sales for our local crafters.”

Alan Kane said: “The Giant’s Causeway presents a huge opportunity for local crafters to showcase to an international audience. Locations such as this are hugely important for the future of the craft sector. For some international visitors the Giant’s Causeway may be their only stop in Northern Ireland so this is our opportunity to showcase the very best the country has to offer. The National Trust approached Craft NI four years ago to work together to increase the number of Northern Ireland makers in the charity’s network of shops across the province. To have the Visitor Centre now sitting with 80 percent of its craft produced locally is just fantastic. It is a credit to Bob and Margaret, the Retail Buyers, and the whole team here. I would like to thank them for the tremendous work they do in promoting Northern Irish craft to visitors.”

Heather McLachlan, National Trust Director for Northern Ireland, paid tribute to the local crafters:“We are very proud of our strong focus on locally-sourced craft, it helps us put something back into Northern Ireland. The National Trust looks after 22 percent of the coastline in Northern Ireland and the retail items we sell in our shops helps us to carry out essential conservation work in the very special places we look after such as the Giant’s Causeway, White Park Bay and Portstewart Strand, to name just a few. This is a beautifully produced booklet which I recommend you take away and browse, I know I’m seeing lots of Christmas gift ideas here today. It is wonderful to meet some of the crafters and I want to thank them all for taking the time to come and demonstrate their skills. We look forward to working together and supporting all our crafters in the years to come.”

Sheila Oldcroft and Stephanie Hazelton, from Desalee Textile Art, exhibiting at the Meet the Crafters event at the Giants Causeway Visitor Centre.

Sheila Oldcroft and Stephanie Hazelton, from Desalee Textile Art, exhibiting at the Meet the Crafters event at the Giants Causeway Visitor Centre.

Margaret Dunlop, North Coast Retail Buyer said: “Working with local crafters is a real passion of mine, enabling us to sell local products to our visitors and also putting something back into the community. It is wonderful to see so many visitors take home a great memory of their time at the Giant’s Causeway and in Northern Ireland.”

The Made in Northern Ireland craft booklet is available free-of-charge in the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre and Causeway Hotel.