A WALES-wide programme that boosts mental and physical wellbeing by connecting communities with their local heritage has awarded three grants to groups in the Tivyside area.

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.

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 people can probably identify with because of 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.

Cilgerran Community Council CIC’s ‘O’r Castell i’r Corwg (from the Castle to the Coracle)’ project has received £9,700.

County councillor John Davies who made the application said: "The ‘O’r Castell i’r Corwg’ project really does capture the natural environment and unique heritage of the community of Cilgerran.

“It will allow the inhabitants and those visiting to appreciate the special qualities of Cilgerran as an historic village which is influenced by its commanding castle and the splendour of the deep-rooted tradition of coracle fishing."

Clynfyw Care Farm at Abercych is being awarded £8,100 for its Cardigan-based mental health recovery project Kinora and the organisation’s Sarah Hughes said: "The grant will enable Clynfyw CIC to provide meaningful, socially-distanced, outdoor activities for participants with learning difficulties and/or poor mental health.

“Walks, talks and enjoyable practical tasks - even in the rain, will enhance community members’ wellbeing through building connections with nature and local landmarks, and valuing what is on our doorstep."

A third grant of £9,800 has gone to Brynberian Community Centre’s ‘Brynberian - Ein Milltir Sgwâr’ project.

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.”