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The Open University is awarded grant by The National Lottery Heritage Fund to connect Welsh communities to their heritage

The Open University in Wales logo and the Heritage Lottery Fund logo

The Open University has received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant  to develop an exciting new project, Wales REACH (Residents Engaging in Arts, Culture and Heritage), in communities across Wales. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the programme will develop a heritage and creative arts project and support people in five areas of Wales to explore connections with the histories of their local areas and communities.  

The project will be developed for these communities:

  • People living in Butetown in Cardiff, one the UK’s oldest multicultural communities
  • The Sandfields area of Port Talbot, a town that has been at the heart of Wales’s industrial history
  • Several semi-rural areas across Pembrokeshire
  • People with a learning disability living in Rhondda Cynon Taf, Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan
  • Areas of Gwynedd with links to quarrying and slate mining

Working with local partners including community leaders, housing associations and Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales, the OU will use the grant to develop a project which will enable participants to learn creatively about the histories that have shaped their communities. While the project will be planned out in detail during the development stage, it is likely to include creative writing, music and the visual arts, as well as history workshops and heritage trips.

Wales REACH will connect people with the heritage that matters to them, and use the creative talents of participants to showcase places and communities whose voices are seldom heard. This project is all about bringing communities together through heritage and the creative arts, while at the same time learning more about how and why the past matters to people.

Dr Richard Marsden
Senior Lecturer in History, The Open University in Wales

The Wales REACH partner organisations in full are:

  • Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales
  • Linc Cymru Housing Association
  • Taff Housing Association
  • Ateb Group
  • Adra (Tai) Cyfyngedig
  • First Choice Housing Association
  • Innovate Trust

Wales REACH is a national extension of the OU in Wales’ BG REACH programme, (funded by URKI) which supported residents in Blaenau Gwent to explore their history.

Thanks to National Lottery players, more than £30 million goes to good causes across the UK every week.

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