Eight heritage projects across the length and breadth of Wales have this month received a share of nearly £10 million (£9,716,300) raised by National Lottery players.
The projects range from protecting nature and landscapes, to safeguarding the nation’s broadcast history and saving important historic buildings.
From running outdoor classrooms and memory sessions for people with dementia, to creating new public spaces and facilities that will benefit entire communities, the eight successful projects will all make a real difference to people living and working in Wales.
The successful projects are:
- A National Broadcast Archive for Wales (£4,751,000 to The National Library of Wales)
- Partneriaeth Tirwedd y Carneddau Landscape Partnership Scheme (£1,719,500 to Snowdonia National Park Authority)
- Ynys Cybi: Our Island Gem Landscape Partnership Scheme (£1,146,000 to Isle of Anglesey County Council)
- Maesteg Townhall Redevelopment (£774,900 to Bridgend County Borough Council)
- Dyfi Wildlife Centre (£525,500 to Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust)
- Connecting the Dragons: restoring reptile and amphibian populations and habitats in Southern Wales (£428,700 to the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust)
- Healthy Reds (£247,100 to Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales)
- Nevern Tower and Bells Project (£123,600 to Nevern Church)
Having recently been re-appointed by the Prime Minister as Chair of the National Lottery Heritage Fund in Wales, Baroness Kay Andrews said: “We are delighted to be announcing these awards, which add up to £10 million for projects across Wales. They show how diverse and rich our heritage is, and how much people care about every aspect of it. They are the first awards that have been granted in Wales since our new strategic funding framework came into effect earlier this year.
“None of this would be possible without those who play the National Lottery. A huge thanks to each and every one of you for enabling us to invest in these brilliant projects and in our communities in every part of Wales. Thanks to you, we can bring stories as well as buildings back to life and we can protect our wildlife and our landscapes so that they will be there for the future. Those priorities are reflected in these recent awards.
“This is why I am so delighted to have been reappointed the chair of the Committee of the National Lottery Heritage Fund for Wales for a second term and I look forward to working with communities around wales to make the best of all our heritage and our future.”
Saving broadcast history
A ground-breaking project to create a National Broadcast Archive for Wales – which would be the first of its kind in the UK – is set to become a reality following a grant of nearly £5 million (£4,751,000) to the National Library of Wales. National Lottery funding will help ensure around 240,000 hours of radio and television footage from Wales, charting almost 100 years of broadcasting and including many iconic moments from 20th century Welsh history and culture, will be made accessible and kept safe for future generations.
Housed in a new 1,000 metre square, purpose built storage facility at the National Library, the materials will also be made accessible to the public at four locations across the country. A series of mobile clip centres will ensure more isolated and rural communities can still access the archive, while 1,500 BBC Wales archive clips of material will be made available for anyone to view online at home or by teachers in school.
Rhodri Talfan Davies, Director BBC Cymru Wales, said: BBC Wales’ archive is a treasure trove – the collective memory of a nation spanning nearly a century. So what better way to celebrate the BBC’s coming centenary in 2022 than to open up this remarkable resource to schools, colleges and communities the length and breadth of Wales. We’re enormously grateful to the National Library of Wales, the National Lottery and the Welsh Government for their support and vision.”
Protecting iconic landscapes
With Wales famous for its rugged landscapes, the rocky island of Ynys Cybi off the western coast of Anglesey, and the imposing Carneddau uplands area of northern Snowdonia, are no exception. Thanks to a combined £2.8 million National Lottery grant, both landscapes will benefit from extensive conservation and enhanced protection of their important wildlife and historic features, including ancient settlement remains, buildings, dry stone walls, native woodlands and peat.
The projects will see a series of community education activities for local people, ranging from outdoor classrooms and Citizen Science projects to recording place names and people’s memories of living and working in the area. Visitors and locals alike will also benefit from improved footpaths and walking trails, ensuring these beautiful landscapes are well protected but still able to be enjoyed for many years to come.
Jonathan Cawley, Director of Planning & Land Management at Snowdonia National Park Authority, said: “The conservation of some of Wales’s most recognisable landscapes is crucial in ensuring their long term survival, especially considering the fragility of some environments. We welcome this vital support to our ongoing work and it is heartening to note the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s vision in identifying natural heritage as a key focus, as it offers such great insight into our colourful history and culture.”
Nurturing Wales’s wildlife
Rare and endangered species are the focus of three projects, which have received a combined £1.2 million National Lottery grant. Reptiles and amphibians – from newts and toads to grass snakes and adders – as well as red squirrels will be given a helping hand to survive and thrive, with the public given the chance to get involved and learn more about protecting these important species.
A new wildlife centre will also be created at the Cors Dyfi nature reserve in mid Wales, improving the overall visitor experience for osprey enthusiasts who visit the popular site to marvel at the breeding pair of these once extinct birds of prey nest as they bring up their young.
Helping brilliant buildings
Grade II listed Maesteg Town Hall will be revitalised, enabling it to become home to the relocated town library as well as a new café, studio, exhibition and meeting space. Once redeveloped, 18 new jobs will be created and local people will have the opportunity to receive training in skills like tour guiding, with new town tours being run from the hall.
Grade II listed Nevern Church in Pembrokeshire will be given essential and urgent repairs to its historic Norman Tower, including making it watertight and restoring the peal of six bells, dating to 1763, that are housed in the tower. Two additional new bells will also be added, and new bell-ringers will be invited to train to ensure this important tradition continues to be handed down to future generations.