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Revitalising the local economies of historic industrial destinations

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  Traditionally wound silk

December 2012 - David Ward-Perkins of JDD Consulting is currently coordinating the Europe-wide RICH programme (Revitalising Industrial and Cultural Heritage), whose aim is to stimulate economic activity through culturally based tourism.

A pilot project, led by the Cité Européenne de la Culture et du Tourisme Durable, focuses on the silk industry, with partnerships in Macclesfield (UK), Saint-Etienne (France), northern Italy and Rumania. In all of these sites, the silk industry has declined to near-extinction, due to the introduction of synthetic fibres and far-Eastern competition. The RICH programme encourages high-added-value production, marketed with the support of a strong tourism and cultural brand. The Macclesfield initiative, for example, is backed by the town's business community and by leaders of the UK fashion industry.

The RICH programme is calling on JDD's expertise in the development of cultural destinations, to provide strong visitor interest at each of the sites.