About PLWM

Digwydd Cloddio Am Hanes - Mining for History event

PLWM started in December 2008.  The key objective of this project is to address weaknesses identified in the Rural Development Plan, the need to improve the physical environment of villages and conserving the rural heritage.

The project is using the legacy of the former metal mining industry and its associated development as a driver for economic benefit in Northern Ceredigion.  The project conserves and upgrades the rural heritage of the area and helps to develop a "Sense of Place" unique to the upland landscape and villages.

This Sense of Place will stimulate the economy by creating an incentive for first-time visitors within the project area and by adding value to existing visits to the region.

Many of the Ceredigion Upland communities owe their very being to the metal mining industry.  This project will consider those communities and the built and natural environment in more detail, looking at the distinctive architecture, social development and their interaction with the surrounding environment.

Before PLWM there was Spirit of the Miners. a project funded by European Agricultural Grants and Guidance Fund, Local regeneration fund and the Countryside Council for Wales, which ran from 2005 to 2008. Based around the provision of a grant scheme aimed at communities, organisations and its businesses within the northern part of Ceredigion, the project successfully concentrated on a programme of community awareness-raising.  By grant-funding a number of diverse sub-projects, the upland villages were reacquainted with their industrial heritage and the project has generated significant interest in and momentum for a new mining related project.

With growing interest in industrial heritage, genealogy and social history PLWM meets with the demand for a project led by a mining/industrial heritage theme, as the region still has much to achieve to develop a Sense of Place and give added value to visitor trips to the area.  This project is the next logical step towards raising the profile of the area's heritage through a planned progrqmme of modest investments in heritage features together with key partners of Cadw and The Countryside Council for Wales .

The Countryside Council for Wales is the main funding partner with their £45,000 contribution and Cadw has put in £15,000 which shows the acknowledgment of need for projects relating to environmentally sensitive and historic sites and the rural communities adjacent to them.

The Welsh Mines Society and the Welsh Mines Preservation Trust are acting as the Steering Group as well as other partners who are non-funding.  The formation of Ceredigion Mines Forum has provided the opportunity for organisations with sometimes conflicting remts to discuss more general and site-specific issues face to face. 

Members of the forum include:

  • Cadw
  • Countryside Council for Wales (CCW)
  • Environment Agency Wales
  • Pentir Pumlumon
  • National Museum of Wales
  • Cambria Archaeology
  • Ceredigion Archives
  • Royal Commission for Ancient Historic Monuments of Wales
  • Ceredigion Museum
  • Ceredigion County Council
  • The Forestry Commission
  • Llywernog Silver-Lead Mine Museum
  • Early Mines Research Group
  • National Association of Mining Heritage Organisations

The forum meets annually and keeps in touch via email.

PLWM works closely with Communities First in Tregaron.  This community led group includes the villages of Tregaron, Pontrhydfendigaid, Ysbyty Ystwyth, Pontrhydygroes, New Row, Devil's Bridge and Ponterwyd.

PLWM have already carried out some studies for the presence of rare lichens on sites we intend to develop as heritage tourism spots such as Ystrad Einion.  We have also completed a bat study on the region.

To develop a Sense of Place the project is commissioning people or groups or businesses (sometimes all of the aforementioned) to carry out restoration, interpretive or access work at 5 former industrial/mine sites, 7 rural communities and 3 other specific designated sites.  PLWM will where possible produce site studies, including investigation and protection and management plans where possible.

Where possible PLWM will create opportunities for learning the special skills necessary for the preservation and protection of rural industrial heritage sites by arranging skills sessions. 

We aim to integrate with education and provide a heritage resource pack for schools and site visits for schools for the primary and secondary schools in the project area.

We will also investigate the appropriateness of innovative uses of ICT such as podcasts and geocaching for adding value to the heritage product.

Working closely with the Welsh Assembly on hitting our targets in terms of heritage outputs and spend PLWM hope to engage whereever possible with the community and potential tourists.

This website aims to act as an online hub for heritage enthusiasts, visitors, community and businesses and interested inviduals and aims to help create that overarching goal - the Sense of Place for Uplands Ceredigion and its industrial heritage.