Heritage, but not as we know it
The brand new ‘Unloved Heritage?’ archaeology scheme backed by Cadw and funded by the National Lottery will focus on activities in locations not often considered to be historical treasures. The scheme will also be delivered in partnership with The Welsh Archaeological Trusts and The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW).
Taking place in some of the country’s most deprived areas, seven projects will recruit young volunteers from all walks of life and inspire them to explore their local heritage through some unusual projects.
Richard Bellamy, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Wales, “This is a truly exciting new scheme that has the power to change what we mean when we talk about heritage.
“The National Lottery funds all sorts of heritage projects, but it’s not always big old buildings and museums. Working in some key Pioneer Areas identified by the Welsh Government as well as other locations across the country, the ‘Unloved Heritage?’ project will help change people’s perceptions and inspire our young people, giving them new skills that they can carry with them for life.
“Thanks to National Lottery players, Wales’s overlooked heritage is about to be reclaimed by the next generation.”
Projects have all been chosen because the value of the sites are not currently understood or appreciated and are not always viewed as rich in traditional heritage. In Bridgend and Swansea, for example, 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.
In north Wales a group of young people in Dyffryn Nantlle will explore the heritage of slate quarrying, working with university students to undertake digital mapping using aerial camera drones and specialised apps.
Formal training will be available to young people taking part in the scheme, as well as the chance to gain plenty of new skills that they can use again in future study or work, such as tour guiding, exhibition planning and design and interviewing.
The project aims 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, these places are often vulnerable to vandalism and antisocial behaviour as well as demolition – so they are very much at risk.
Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, added: “This National Lottery supported scheme will give our young people some fantastic opportunities to get involved in heritage in new and exciting ways, which is exactly what the sector needs.
“Heritage is vital not only for our economy but our sense of identity, and I am proud Wales is taking the lead in breaking down barriers to culture. I’m delighted that the Welsh Government Fusion programme is being supported by the National Lottery, which shares the same belief that heritage should be more accessible for all.
“Thanks to National Lottery funding, this new scheme will be a great learning and sharing experience for all heritage partners involved. Putting young people at the heart of how we work in the future, it will help change the way we view our heritage and show that it’s not exclusive to certain people. It belongs to all of us.”
Notes to editors
About the projects
- Cadw will lead a project at Fernhill Colliery in Blaenrhondda with Valleys Kids to explore mining heritage. 45 young people, student mentors and local volunteers will excavate and survey the selected site. Visits to other museums and heritage sites will complement a programme of research at a number of archives and with the community. Training in conservation, interpretation, guided walks, aerial, underground and 3D photography and traditional building techniques will be provided
- Cadw will lead a project at Pembroke Dock exploring the town's naval and military heritage using the Royal Naval Dockyard and the Gun Tower. A menu of activity options will be provided to participants each year focussing on photography and music. An exhibition will be created for display in the town, and young people will undertake work experience placements in heritage organisations. Sailing workshops, music recording and guided tour training will be available
- CPAT will lead activities in rural North-East Wales exploring the impact of the internal combustion engine and its effects on development of infrastructure. Working with local schools, the Youth Centre and mental Health Services they will establish an archaeological training programme which will include broadcasting, research fieldwork, interpretation, interviewing the public, visits to relevant sites and excavation
- DAT will lead a project in the old heart of Llanelli to record buildings through photography and art. Working with Llanelli Heritage Six and local schools, young people will investigate why the town centre fell into disrepair and out-of-town developments became more desirable. They will stage an exhibition in the shopping centre, collect oral histories, examine archives, create a geocaching trail, receive photography and 3D imaging training, visit relevant sites (former pump house, Goods Shed, Parc y Scarlets) and research successful examples of regeneration through canoeing and cycle tours
- GAT will lead a project in partnership with community development organisation Dyffryn Nantlle 20:20 to explore the heritage of slate quarrying, enabling young people to work with university students to undertake digital mapping using drones. Training will be provided in virtual and augmented reality. They will create a film, exhibition and app using actors, VR/AR and a soundscape track. i-beacons will be installed throughout the valley. There will be an opportunity for work with UNESCO youth forums and the WHS nomination team
- GGAT will lead a project in Bridgend and Swansea with young skateboarders, enabling them to define and share their heritage using archaeological techniques to create new records. Using photography and film they will map paths through the cities to create an exhibition. Training will be provided in measured recording, 3D modelling, using tracking apps, collecting oral histories, delivering guided tours, and curating an exhibition. They will create a new register of sites at risk and visit a planning department or architect studio to learn about design of urban spaces. Accredited Arts Awards will be offered
- RCAHMW will provide opportunities for young people to explore Ceredigion in new ways with university students using aerial, underground and panoramic photography. A student creative practice residency will be available each year. Working with local sites, they will undertake site visits and camping trips to deliver a menu of activity options
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