Wales’s unloved heritage is about to be reclaimed by the next generation

Digwyddiad i bobl ifanc yn edrych ar hanes modern a chanoloesol drwy ffotograffiaeth
Thanks to National Lottery players, young people across Wales are about to embark on a project that has the power to change what we mean when we talk about heritage.

The new ‘Unloved Heritage?’ archaeology scheme will focus on activities in seven locations not often considered to be historical treasures, in some of Wales’s most deprived areas.

Young volunteers from all walks of life will be given fantastic opportunities to get involved in heritage in new and exciting ways whilst giving them new skills that they can carry with them for life.

From skateboarding to shopping

In south Wales young skateboarders will use photography and film to map paths through the cities to create an exhibition and contribute to a new register of sites at risk, while others will stage an exhibition in a shopping centre about how out of town developments have affected high streets and town centres.

In north Wales a group of young people will explore the heritage of slate quarrying, working with university students to undertake digital mapping using aerial camera drones and specialised apps. Others will work with schools, youth centres and mental health services to create archaeological training for other youngsters.

Rethinking heritage

Formal training will be available to young people taking part in the scheme, as well as the chance to gain plenty of new skills such as tour guiding, exhibition planning and design and interviewing.

The project aims to redefine what constitutes heritage – the spaces that young people will be exploring have no statutory protection, and aren’t always seen as ‘important’. Because they are not currently protected, they are often vulnerable to vandalism and antisocial behaviour as well as demolition – so they are very much at risk.

With the help of National Lottery players, this game-changing project will help turn that around.

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