Nant Gwrtheyrn has won a coveted European award at a ceremony in Brussels last week. The centre has been nominated in the ‘Investing in cultural heritage’ category of the 2018 European Commissions RegioStars Awards, the awards that identify good practices in regional development and highlight original and innovative projects that are attractive and inspiring to other regions.
2018 is Europe’s Year of Culture, and therefore the special topic for this year’s Regiostars Awards was the Investing in Cultural Heritage category, with the awards ceremony being part of the European Week of Regions 2018, and the 11th Regiostars awards which reward exceptional projects that have received grant support from European Structural Funds.
Approximately 6000 people attended the conference during the week, with approximately 1000 people at the Awards Ceremony, and there representing Nant Gwrtheyrn was Jim O’Rourke, the Project Development Manager, and Catrin Roberts from WEFO, the Project Officers that supported Nant Gwrtheyrn during the application process.
Jim O’Rourke said: “It was an honour to represent Nant Gwrtheyrn, and to accept the Regiostars award for the best European Year of Culture project in 2018 for Investing in Cultural Heritage. The panel of judges praised the way Nant Gwrtheyrn has developed a viable centre using our linguistic heritage to provide Welsh for Adults courses, and opportunities for visitors to enjoy the magical setting, and to learn about our language and heritage. Creating 33 jobs and welcoming over 50,000 visitors annually in a deprived rural area was a special example of how the European Union’s contribution has contributed to economic, cultural and community benefits in West Wales. Over £2.8m of grants has been received from the European Union, as well as grants from the Welsh Government, the Heritage Lottery Fund, and a number of other funding bodies to secure an investment of over £6m in the village between 2008 and 2015. The ceremony was also an opportunity to give thanks for the support from the European Union, as we this year celebrate 40 years since the opening of the village to the first learners in 1978. ”
The ‘RegioStars Awards’ are an annual competition that chooses the best cohesion policy projects, with a specialist jury of 15 members, chaired by the MEP Lambert van Nistelrooij and the ASE Kerstin Westphal, evaluating 102 applications that were submitted to the competition this year.