The Welsh Government is managing a project to develop heritage tourism in Wales. The project is largely funded by the Welsh Government and from EU Convergence Funds and will help maximise the economic value of heritage by increasing the number, length and value of visits to Wales. The project will also help open Wales’s outstanding heritage to a wider audience by making it more enjoyable both for visitors and for people who live in Wales.
Cadw is working with Visit Wales, the Countryside Council for Wales, the Valleys Regional Park and the Environment Agency to develop a strategic coordinated approach to using funds available as part of the Convergence programmes. Six strategic project ideas are being taken forward, which have been developed from the Welsh Government’s Cultural Tourism Strategy and Sustainable Tourism Framework — the Heritage Tourism Project is one of these.
Cadw is leading the Heritage Tourism Project having successfully bid for Convergence Funding under the Priority 4, Theme 3 heading, Environment for Growth (or E4G, for short). The project will run until December 2014 and is worth a total of £19m:
- £8.5m will be provided by European Funding
- £7.6m will be met by the Welsh Government, including Cadw and the Targeted Match Fund
- Delivery partners will provide the remaining funds.
Aims of the project
Cadw will be working with communities, heritage partners and the tourism sector across Wales to improve the visitor experience and provide a more integrated range of heritage tourism activities by, for example, developing heritage tours, trails and events packages. The intention is to connect individual heritage sites with other heritage attractions and with the local community and the surrounding area, as well as to link to broader interpretive stories and themes.
The project focuses upon:
- Improving physical and intellectual access to heritage sites to attract a wider range of visitors
- Marketing, promotion, referrals and product packages
- Using iconic sites as gateways to other ‘hub’ attractions for regional heritage attraction development
- Undertaking access and safety improvements at sites
- Developing and implementing pan-Wales heritage interpretation themes and stories.
The main themes are:
- Origins, Prehistory
- Roman conquest and settlement
- Spiritual and inspirational landscapes
- The castles and princes of Wales (Princes of Gwynedd, Princes of Deheubarth, Owain Glyndwr, Edwardian Castles, and Marcher Lords)
- Wales: the first industrial nation
- Defence of the realm.
Spreading the benefits across Wales
The project will see investment in heritage sites across the Convergence Area (north and west Wales and the Valleys) and across the sector, including some sites directly managed by Cadw. It will also be supporting developments at sites in local authority and voluntary sector hands. The project will also promote some of Wales’s less well-known heritage treasures. An outline of proposed activities is available for download.
Project development and management
A Steering Group has been established to provide a strategic overview. It will monitor:
- Overall direction of the project
- Choice of project elements
- Procurement decisions
- Cooperation between Cadw and external stakeholders.
Members of the Steering Group include the Welsh Local Government Association, Wales Council for Voluntary Action, Regional Tourist Partnerships, Heritage Lottery Fund, Visit Wales, National Museum Wales and CyMAL.
Convergence funding is the successor to the Objective 1 programme 2000–2006, and will cover 15 local authority areas in west Wales and the Valleys.
If you have any questions, please email email@example.com. Alternatively, please contact the Heritage Tourism Project Co-ordinator at Cadw, Plas Carew, Unit 5/7 Cefn Coed, Parc Nantgarw, Cardiff CF15 7QQ Telephone 01443 33 6035.
Links to project partners' websites
More information about the Convergence programmes can be found on the WEFO website.