A PROGRAMME that boosts mental and physical wellbeing by connecting communities with their local heritage has today awarded 20 grants to groups in North Wales.

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 places.

Commenting on the announcing of the grants, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas said: “15-Minute Heritage makes us realise that 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.”

Plaques in Caernarfon

Rhiannon James of Prosiect Placiau Cymdeithas Ddinesig Caernarfon, which is receiving £10,000, said: “Receiving this grant will help the residents of Caernarfon better appreciate and understand the history of their town.

"The information leaflet will show clearly where the plaques are located and encourage more people to walk around the town. Children, young people, visitors and all residents of the town will be able to use the QR codes to learn in more detail about important buildings and individuals who have played a key role in the development of Caernarfon.”

Hidden Heritage in Holywell

Douglas Don, who is a Greenfield Valley ranger at the Hidden Heritage project near Holywell which is getting £9,800, said: “Greenfield Valley’s role in the Industrial Revolution is very visible in the landscape with ponds and old mills.

"Our aim is to make people aware of hidden features, including a medieval earth bank and cottage remains to enhance experiences and provide opportunities for people to become involved in safeguarding these sites for the future.”

Full list of projects in North Wales that have received 15-Minute Heritage grants:

Canolfan Hanes Uwchgwyrfai’s ‘Datgloi Clof Pobl Uwchgwyrfai’ project- £4,300;

Capel Carmel, Pwllheli’s ‘Cofnodi Hanes Llafar Cymdogaeth Plas Carmel a’r ardal’ project - £7,700;

Cymdeithas Ddinesig Caernarfon’s ‘Prosiect Placiau Caernafon’ project - £10,000;

Hafod Ceiri’s ‘Cofnodion Llithfaen’ project - £3,900;

Archif Abergynolwyn’s ‘Abergynolwyn Heritage Project’ - £10,000;

Partneriaeth Ogwen’s ‘Dathlu Daucanmlwyddiant Bethesda’ project- £10,000;

Living Streets’s ‘Yn Awyr Agored Môn – a walking trail of the Welsh artist Kyffin Williams’ - £10,000;

Llyn Parc Mawr Community Woodland Group’s ‘Stories of Newborough Forest Project’ - £10,000;

Cowny County Borough Council

Conwy County Borough Council’s ‘What did the Romans ever do for Cowny’ project - £10,000;

Deeside Community Trust’s ‘Deeside Memories’ project - £9,400;

Greenfield Valley Trust’s ‘Hidden Heritage’ project - £9,800;

North Wales Regional Equality Network’s ‘Flintshire History, Heritage and our links to the slave trade’ project - £10,000;

Outside Lives Ltd in Gwernymynydd’s ‘Y Hanes o Yma/The History of Here’ project - £9,800;

Menter Iaith Sir Ddinbych’s ‘Bocs Trysor Sir Ddinbych’ project - £9,600;

Ruthin Town Council’s ‘Stori Rhuthun’ project - £6,700;

Glyndyrfdwy Women’s Institute’s ‘Ein Neuadd, Ein Stori/Our Hall, Our Story’ project - £7,300;

Cefn Mawr Historical Society and Museum’s ‘Oral History and Leaflet and Trail Outreach Project’ - £3,000;

Ceiriog Uchaf Community Council’s ‘Exploring the Heritage of Ceiriog Uchaf through the Clustnodau Booklet’ project - £10,000;

Amlwch Town Council’s ‘Heritage Trail Amlwch’ project - £8,800;