Capturing the stories of South Wales miners, regenerating an important maritime town, unlocking the secrets of a treasured community collection and extending a local museum to attract more visitors are just some of the activities that will benefit from this latest round of National Lottery money.
The legacy of the mines
Mining has played a vital role in Welsh heritage. Volunteers at the South Wales Miners Museum are leading a project that will look at the social history and legacy of the coal industry in the Afan and Llynfi valleys. Local young people will become actively involved through placements and training while students are also set to benefit from the museum’s active involvement in the Welsh Baccalaureate.
Museum secretary Mair Boast said: "Our museum is hugely important to local people, dedicated to telling the story of what transformed South Wales and the valleys in particular - the coal industry.
"After the last pit in the Afan valley closed in 1970, the community rallied together to open the museum, as a way to ensure that their stories and experiences would be remembered.
“This money from HLF will help us continue and build further on what they started, and by ensuring greater involvement by the wider community and especially the younger generation, we believe there’s a bright future ahead.”
Regeneration of key north Wales town
In north Wales, the largest town in Anglesey and a major Irish Sea port, Holyhead is at the centre of a four-year regeneration project. Building on a previous HLF investment that has helped revitalise the area, funding has now been awarded to help re-develop some of Holyhead's historic buildings. Restored using old photographs of the town as reference points, these will become new homes for businesses and families, breathing fresh life into this key coastal area and boosting its economy.
Richard Bellamy, Head of HLF Wales, believes this support reflects the importance of HLF’s work: “From museums to seaside towns to much-loved places of worship, they are all an important part of Welsh society. This investment of National Lottery money in key transformational projects can play a crucial role in supporting and developing the Welsh economy.
"Similarly our continued support for smaller, locally grown projects enables people to contribute their stories and make our communities even stronger.”
The YMCA has been at the heart of Pontypridd for over a century and a 10-month project will help document its history and its importance within the local community. Photos, news items, films will all be brought together in an interactive exhibition that will provide people with a fascinating timeline showing how the area has changed and developed over the decades.
Ceredigion Museum branches out
In mid Wales, the Ceredigion Museum in Aberystwyth can now expand its services thanks to the recent award by HLF to help promote its activities to more people. A partnership with the tourism service will greatly enhance its appeal for visitors and locals alike, while the local community will be encouraged to get involved in decorating the newly created museum entrance.
Richard Bellamy continues: “What these projects highlight is the breadth of our work and I very much look forward to seeing them develop. In supporting people to acquire new skills and revitalising towns and villages we see how heritage can be used to transform communities.”
The 10 largest projects will together receive over £3m, whilst six community-led projects will receive a combined total of almost £200,000.
Notes to Editors
The projects receiving the funding are as follows:
- Ceredigion Museum – New Approaches (Ceredigion County Council) - £916,200 to re-develop the current location, creating a new entrance, shop and café to improve access and create greater income generation possibilities for long term sustainability
- Past to Present @SWMM (South Wales Miners’ Museum) - £244,100 to develop the museum’s services and highlight the social history and legacy of the Afan and Llyfni valley coal industry
- Holyhead Townscape Transformation 2016 – 2020 (Isle of Anglesey County Council) – £1,550,500 to help regenerate areas of Holyhead by repairing derelict buildings and using heritage as part of the tourism offer as well as for business and housing growth.
- The Heritage of Orchards and Cider Making in Wales (Welsh Perry and Cider Society) - £495,600 to develop a pan Wales project supporting community orchards and working with the University of South Wales to research the history of Welsh perry and cider making
- Whitehurst Gardens Heritage Project (Friends of Whitehurst Gardens) – £10,000 for the Gardens near Wrexham to undertake site survey and additional community consultation
- Ruthin Memories: a step back in time (Ysgol Borthyn) - £5,000 for a 6 month project focusing on people’s living memories of Ruthin
- Newport Gun Girls: Stories from ROF 11 (Winding Snake Productions) - £68,000 for a project exploring the role undertaken by local women in the Second World War
- Mudan (Peony) and Daffodil (Newport Chinese Community Centre) - £60,000 for an 18 month project exploring the heritage of the Chinese community in south east Wales
- YM Memories: Community Photo Project (Pontypridd YMCA) - £36,900 for a project to document the history of Pontypridd YMCA
- The Great War and its Effect on Ruthin and Surrounding Areas (Ruthin Community Group) - £9,000 for an 8 month intergenerational project exploring the effects of the First World War on Ruthin, and commemorate the battle of Mametz Wood
- St James and St Elidyr Church, Stackpole, Pembrokeshire - £113,200 for repairs to the Grade1 listed building as well as supporting activities
- Saint Barnabas Church, Drefach Felindre, Carmarthenshire - £116,200 for roof and external fabric affairs and supporting activities
- St Mary’s Church, Carew, Pembrokeshire - £88,700 for external repairs and development of interpretation boards
- Conwy Culture Centre (Conwy County Borough Council) – development grant of £71,500 with potential award of £826,300 to develop a new cultural centre incorporating a community heritage and arts hub, a library and a youth centre.
- Llanelli Railway Goods Shed – Heritage, Enterprise, Community and Creative Hub (Llanelli railway Goods Shed Trust) – development grant of £58,800 with potential award of £539,100 to restore the derelict Grade II listed Goods Shed
- Picton Castle Walled Garden Project (The Picton Castle Trust) – development grant of £100,800 to restore and repair structures within the grounds to provide activity, education and training spaces with potential of total award of £746,200