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Council announces successful recipients of the new NPT Community Heritage Fund

Picture shows the blast furnaces at Neath Abbey Ironworks

A school, a chapel, a community trust and a community library are among the successful applicants in the latest round of funding from Neath Port Talbot Council’s new Community Heritage Fund.

The fund is part of the Heritage NPT project – made possible by a generous donation from the National Lottery Heritage Fund – to which charities and not-for-profit organisations, schools, heritage groups, community groups, Town Councils and Ministry Areas (church groups) can apply.

It helps them engage with local residents and deliver local heritage based projects. Heritage NPT has also provided training and events to assist heritage groups become more sustainable for the future.

The successful applicants in the latest round of funding are Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Tyle’r ynn, The Llangiwg Trust, Saron Chapel, Canolfan Maerdy, The Friends of Neath Abbey Ironworks and Y Lolfa GCG Community Library.

The grant aid will see Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Tyle’r Ynn create artwork based on local heritage sites and an exhibition, The Llangiwg Trust will facilitate a series of talks on heritage, arts, culture, wellbeing and nature and will also improve accessibility to St Ciwg’s Church, while Saron Chapel will work with local people and an artist to create a stained glass window to be installed in the chapel.

Canolfan Maerdy will use the funding to undertake a digital storytelling project and develop a heritage archive and The Friends of Neath Abbey Ironworks will involve the community in an archaeological excavation.

Finally, Y Lolfa GCG Community Library will use its funding to create a leaflet with information and maps giving information on local heritage.

The first round of funding, which closed in January, allowed the Pontardawe Heritage and Visitor Centre to establish a project entitled In the Footsteps of David Thomas  – the Father of the American Anthracite Iron Industry. This project will see a travelling exhibition move around libraries and schools in the Neath Port Talbot area.

Pontardawe Town Council was also funded to bring the history and heritage of Pontardawe to life through a street art project.

A stained glass art workshop

A second round of funding, which closed at the end of March, will see Awel Y Mor Primary School undertake an oral history project and heritage trail. It has allowed Bro Noddfa Newydd Ministry Area to work with a stained glass expert to draw inspiration for its own inter-generational arts and crafts project and the Neath Antiquarians group will publish a centenary edition book and create a series of community outreach events including an exhibition and workshop.

The Ty Banc Canal Group will use its funding to develop a project improving heritage and biodiversity signage along the canal in an interactive manner.

Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Nature, Tourism and Wellbeing, Cllr Cen Phillips, said: “Thanks go to National Lottery players and the National Lottery Heritage Fund for making the Heritage NPT project and Community Heritage Fund possible.

“It’s wonderful to see so many community projects taking shape thanks to the council’s new heritage fund – it’s part of the council’s overall aim contained in its Destination Management Plan,  Culture Strategy and Draft Heritage Strategy to preserve and celebrate our rich culture and heritage.”