PORTALIS, an EU-funded project that explores the first connection between Ireland and Wales dating back to the Mesolithic period, is inviting members of the public to attend a series of workshops taking place in six unique coastal communities in Wales and Ireland.

The cross-border local engagement events will look to introduce the Portalis project and explore how elements can be used to develop cultural tourism.

In Wales, the series will kick off in New Quay on November 15 at 6.30pm at New Quay Memorial Hall.

It will be followed by Tregaron on November 16 at 6.30pm at Tregaron Memorial Hall; Llandysul on November 17 at 6.30pm at Tysul Hall; Aberaeron on November 18 at 6.30pm at Aberaeron Memorial Hall; Cardigan on November 23 at 6.30pm at Cardigan Guildhall; Aberystwyth on November 24 at 6.30pm at Ceredigion Museum and finally at Lampeter on November 29 at 6.30pm at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Lampeter Campus, in the Old Hall.

Refreshments will be provided.

Donal Nolan, Strategic Projects Officer, Waterford Chamber of Commerce and Network Development Lead for the Portalis project said: “The events will look to achieve a number of objectives, including the formation of a Cross Border Cultural Network that will be the focal point for future development projects between the Irish and Welsh regions.”

The overall aims of the Portalis project are to protect cultural and natural coastal heritage, promote understanding of climate change adaptation, grow cross-border community networks, and support a sustainable increase in visitors to coastal communities.

Carrie Canham, Curator of Ceredigion Museum in Aberystwyth, said: “We’re very much looking forward to developing this important work that will not only tell the story of our earliest links with Ireland, but will build an ongoing relationship that will benefit both sides of the Irish Sea.”

Th plan is to achieve this using existing evidence with new data to develop a powerful new cross-border narrative, accessible within a new visitor experience at Waterford Museum of Treasures, and Ceredigion Museum.

The €1.95 million project aims to raise awareness and support community and business sustainable engagement, resulting in the establishment of two new experiential tourism and cultural networks in both Ireland and Wales.

Portalis is supported with €1.5m funding from the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Cooperation Programme, www.irelandwales.eu The project is led by South East Technological University and supported by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Ceredigion County Council and Waterford Chamber of Commerce.

To register for your free place at the events, please go to http://portalisproject.eu/