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 Home / About Us / Communication / News / Project launches : ERIH II 
Project launches : ERIH II «  Back

Transnational tourism co-operation: Starting signal for the European Route of Industrial Heritage – ERIH

From 25th to 27th January the official kick-off meeting for the establishment of the “European Route of Industrial Heritage” took place in Cologne. In the project, which is accomplished under leadership of the Nordrhein-Westfalen Tourismus e.V., 13 partners from four countries – Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Belgium – are involved. The total budget of the project, financed by funds of the partners and the European NWE Programme, amounts to approximately 2.6 Mio. Euros. The project has a term of 4 years.

Interesting places of the industrial heritage can be found in numerous industrial regions of Europe. The high experience value of the industrial heritage is put out already today in some regional projects and used for tourism marketing. “With the “European Route of the Industrial Heritage” now an international network was created for the first time, in which the most important sites of the European industrial heritage are interconnected", describes Dr. Robert Datzer, who took over as managing director of the Nordrhein-Westfalen Tourismus e.V. the leadership of the overall project. The basis of the "European route of Industrial Heritage (ERIH)" forms a master plan funded by INTERREG II C-funds of the European Union.

The core of the transnational route form the so called “anchor points”, which are for the tourism marketing particular interesting places of industrial heritage. All anchor points must have an appropriate infrastructure, a special quality of interpretation and an outstanding industrial and/or technology-historical relevance. A second level represent the regional routes, which start at the anchor points and open up regional industrial heritage and activities. On the third level transnational theme routes (as to the textile industry, the mining industry or to iron and steel) are developed. These are to point similarities and differences of the industrial cultural landscapes of Europe and show their common roots. Important components of ERIH are - apart from the pure route development - also the development of a European brand name, which is linked to clear quality criteria. Beyond that an internet portal as marketing and experts forum, a travelling exhibition as well as the appropriate accompanying print material are planned.

The main focus of the kick-off conference on the premises of the Nordrhein-Westfalen Tourismus e.V., at which for the first time all partners involved met, was the implementation of the contents of the master plan. As a first and substantial step a first section of the European Route of Industrial Heritage between Great Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, North Rhine-Westphalia and the Saarland will be realized. Since the European Route of Industrial Heritage is an approved INTERREG III B project, a representative of the NWE Programme Secretariat in Lille participated in the constituent meeting. In North Rhine-Westphalia three ministries – The Ministerium für Städtebau und Wohnen, Kultur und Sport, the Ministerium  für Verkehr, Energie und Landesplanung as well as the Ministerium für Wirtschaft und Arbeit – support the project. The term for the realization of the activities planned is four years and shall be determined in November 2007.

"North Rhine-Westphalia will be represented in the overall system with six anchor points, which are tied up to the four regional routes", explains Dr. Robert Datzer. So the colliery Zollverein in Essen, the colliery Zollern II/IV in Dortmund, the landscape park Duisburg-North, the Rhenish Industrial Museum Gesenkschmiede Henrichs in Solingen, the Westfalian Industrial Museum Ziegelei in Lage and the Rhenish Industrial museum Tuchfabrik Müller in Euskirchen will in future be part of the route.

Background information: The Nordrhein-Westfalen Tourismus e.V. based in Cologne is the umbrella organisation for tourism in North Rhine-Westphalia and was founded in 1997 on the initiative of the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Its central aims are to profile tourism as promising economic factor, the optimisation of the basic conditions for tourism marketing and the promotion of tourism co-operation in North Rhine-Westphalia. It advises its members on all tourism questions and supports the regions and places with their private-economical partners in the development of tourism products. Beyond that it promotes the profiling of the North-Rhine-Westphalian regions and places by thematic marketing in coordination with the overall concept of tourism development in North-Rhine-Westphalia.

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