Making Longford craft and creative businesses more visible to the public

Local Enterprise Office Longford involved in new 'Creative Connections' new collaborative project

News Reporter


News Reporter


Making Longford craft and creative businesses more visible to the public

Jacinta from Jacinta Baxter Designs and Cora McNamara displaying their produce at a Craft Fair in Ballinalee last November. Photo by Shelley Corcoran

The Local Enterprise Offices (LEO’s) of Cavan, Leitrim, Longford and Roscommon have come together to instigate “Creative Connections” a new collaborative project of training, support and promotion for creative designer/makers/artists in their region.

Under the brand INSIDE [CRAFT], it is planning a vibrant offering of actions for 2017 including a craft trail of open studios, a website and a series of pop up retail experiences.  

Speaking on behalf of the LEOs, Joe Lowe explains ‘INSIDE [CRAFT] will be a whole new craft tourism product for the region. We are positioning the region as a place for creativity.  INSIDE [CRAFT] is rooted in research which clearly states that visitors to an area are looking for less official information and want to know more from an “insiders’ perspective.  People are looking for experiential activities. The project is all about making craft and creative businesses more visible to the public who want to meet the maker, support small enterprises, own and gift authentic, quality products. It also underlines what our region offers to artists and creative people and why it is an attractive place to live and work’.

The project has gone live this week with three call outs, all with a deadline of June 23 (to be ready to maximise the 2017 tourism season).

CALL OUT to craftspeople, creative designer/makers/artists

INSIDE [CRAFT] are open for applications to participate in the 2017 Craft /Open Studios Trail and the Pop Up Retail Events, all of which are FREE to participate in.

The Craft Trail will be a printed and online resource providing year-round promotion. It’s aim is to make creative businesses in the region more visible to the Irish public and tourist visitors, enabling potential customers to access and purchase craft, art and design more easily and ultimately increasing sales for those involved.  

The Inside [Craft] Trail - Open Studios 2017 publication is now open. Apply via  

In tandem, but as a separate action, it is planned that 6 Pop Up Retail Events will be delivered in a range of exciting venues in the four counties involved – Cavan, Leitrim, Longford and Roscommon.  It is planned to host the first pop up retail event on the August Bank Holiday.  Applicants need to apply on

CALL OUT to Venues!

INSIDE [CRAFT] are also seeking applications from competent organisations to ‘host’ these retail events with opportunities for cultural, creative or tourism venues to host a fully merchandised popup with a fresh new collection of craft, art and design to your existing audiences and to work with us to attract new audiences and potential customers.

A very attractive support package will be available to the host organisation(s) to support all aspects of the event management: stand-alone branded display units, selected craft, art & design products, consignment agreements in place with artists, designers and makers, promotional literature and point of sale merchandising, online and offline PR and marketing campaign. Expressions of interest should be made on   

There will be further calls for events during 2017, so even if participants think they are not quite ready, or don’t have work available for an August event, please do send a submission form by Friday, June 23 to register interest in participating in future call outs.  Further information on the project  can be got from Francis Verling on 086 179 2568 or by email on