A WALES-wide programme that boosts mental and physical wellbeing by connecting communities with their local heritage has awarded grants totalling just under £100,000 to groups in Powys.

Cadw – the Welsh Government’s historic environment service – and the National Lottery Heritage Fund teamed up to launch the 15-Minute Heritage programme in September.

It was in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and awards of between £3,000 to £10,000 were available for applicants who could inspire people to take a greater interest in their local areas.

Powys recipients include Penybont Community Council, who have received just shy of £10,000 for a heritage project; Llanfair Caereinion Town Council, who will put their £9,800 to a town walk initiative and the Abbeycwmhir Heritage Trust, who will put £5,500 towards bringing the community’s history to life.

The £9,900 will be used by Penybont Community Council for its ‘Penybont, Llandegley & Cefn Llys Heritage Story Walks’ project. Ellie Turner said: “This 15-Minute Heritage grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Cadw enables our local history group to take part in an exciting and collaborative project with creative professionals through these Covid-restricted months.

“It will connect them and their stories from the local area to children from local primary schools as well as local people and visitors to the area.”

Abbeycwmhir Heritage Trust treasurer Jackie Marriott said: “We are very excited to have received the above grant.

“Our remote valley in Mid Wales has an important place in Welsh history. Our recordings of oral memories from the village, online talks and community heritage trails will mean that everyone in our community will learn more about their heritage through a fuller engagement with Abbeycwmhir’s past and present.”

Border Counties Advertizer:

Mel Walters and Jackie Marriott, treasurer of the Abbeycwmhir Heritage Trust.

Llanfair town councillor Ceri Stephens added: “A town walk will be produced with interpretation boards, town map leaflet and digital promotion to ensure the town’s history is recorded and shared with visitors and residents.

“Starting the trail at the railway station will encourage visitors into the town centre where they can also visit the shops and pubs.”

Deputy culture minister, Lord Elis-Thomas, said: “Heritage isn’t just found in places we travel to visit, but is also in the streets and green spaces that are literally on our doorsteps.

“I am delighted that Cadw has been able to work with the National Lottery Heritage Fund to support so many projects that are finding new ways to connect people to heritage in every part of Wales.”

The 15-Minute Heritage grant programme is based on a concept called the 15-minute city where everyone can meet most of their needs within just a short walk from their home.

Staying close to home is something many of us can probably identify with because of our experiences during the pandemic and the 15-Minute Heritage programme builds on that.

It aims to help people strengthen the connections they have with their surrounding environment through ideas such as creating new walking trails, window displays, digital resources or interpretive panels.

The programme has also encouraged the groups involved to look at heritage through different lenses such as heritage between generations, ethnicity or a shared or specialised interest.

Andrew White, director of the National Lottery Heritage Fund in Wales, said: “We’re all probably more aware of our local areas of late and local heritage – whether that’s a building, a landmark, a nature reserve or even our local shop – is important because it helps create and shape our communities.

“Connecting with our heritage is also good for our wellbeing and thanks to National Lottery players and our partnership with Cadw we have been able to encourage a diverse range of people right across Wales to get out and about to explore and re-discover their local area.”

Full list of projects in Powys that received grants:

1. Abbeycwmhir Heritage Trust’s ‘Discovering Abbeycwmhir’ project - £5,500

2. Ystradgynlais and District Women’s Institute’s ‘A Textile celebration of Ystradgynlais and area’ project - £3,600

3. Ystradgynlais Library’s ‘Celebrating the Heritage of Ystradgynlais and the surrounding area’ project - £4,000

4. Celf o Gwmpas’ ‘Look up Llandrindod’ project - £6,800

5. Llanfair Caereinion Town Council’s ‘Llanfair Town Heritage & Culture Walk’ project - £9,800

6. Mencap Cymru’s ‘Llanfyllin ni – Our Llanfyllin’ project - £6,300

7. Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway’s ‘Discovering the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway’ project - £7,800

8. St Nicholas Church, Montgomeryshire’s ‘St Nicholas Stories’ project - £9,700

9. Brecon Cathedral’s ‘100 Years of Calm: A Heritage Landscape Trail at Brecon Cathedral’ project - £9,000

10. Brecon Little Theatre’s ‘Engaging the community of Brecon with its theatre history heritage’ project - £10,000

11. Canal and River Trust’s ‘Step by Step Canal Heritage (Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal)’ project - £6,400

12. Penybont Community Council’s ‘Penybont, Llandegley & Cefn Heritage story walks’ project - £9,900