An innovative ‘grass roots’ community led bilingual heritage and environment initiative, framed around the Pen Dinas hill fort / Local Nature Reserve site, which will explore the heritage, culture and environment of the site in numerous ways, as we briefly outline below. We envisage this will have positive economic, cultural, educational and environmental impacts upon the region, the community and its identity and in the Dyfi Biosphere.
- This would entail a community geophysical survey, which has never been done on the fort.
- Design and develop more appropriate signage and benches for the site – utilise the site for tourism and education
- Create a History & Heritage centre space at the proposed new Community Centre, would focus on the Hillfort and the Village of Penparcau. This would include digital signage, ‘heritage stations’ and visitor/educational packs.
- Visit other sites in Wales e.g. Caerau Community Hillfort project in Ely Cardiff, Heather & Hillforts project in Denbighshire and Castell Henllys in Pembs – to build capacity, develop the consortium (with a view to collaborative bids) and understand best practice in existing sites – scoping visits.
- Work towards creating an up to date bilingual booklet on all the findings that is user friendly, easily available and open.
- Carry out a feasibility study
- Engage with the community in a variety of ways bilingually) to ensure the sustainability of the project.
- Increase visitor/local footfall on the site.
- Develop better access to the Coastal Path and Ystwyth cycle-trail through the project for i.e. sustainable tourism/heritage activities that could target health and wellbeing.
All of the above is aimed at celebrating and highlighting Pen Dinas as an important site of immense historical value to our immediate community and the wider area i.e. adding value to local identity, utilising natural & cultural resources and the exploitation of digital technologies.
The project would be focused on creating and developing structures and initiatives that enhance and provide improved access to the local natural and built environment. Together with promoting opportunities for joint co-operation actions related to the natural landscape within a Biosphere area and, deliver alternative methods of delivering tourist information in the area.
We envisage that the proposed project highlighted above would form the basis for a number of applications to the European Community Development Fund.
However in order to pull together all of the above into a coherent application to the ECDF, we need to look at an extensive feasibility study that researches the viability of the proposed outline above.
We have consulted with the Royal Commission and have asked the consultancy Trysor to outline a feasibility study quote estimate to carry out the work generated by such a study.
Over the last two years we have been exploring the possibility to develop the site in a sustainable, way that would be of interest to multiple stakeholders and form the ‘backbone’ for lager projects. In order to do this we have engaged in different types of consultation – led walks over 2 years on the site (over 200 people), we have held ‘Local Conversations’ with over 300 people, as well as questionnaires. We have regularly held Community Steering meetings to discuss the development in question, we have created a consortium to pull together expertise in the area and steer and manage the development in an appropriate and rigorous way. We have regular History Group Meetings and have a Facebook group that discusses related matters. As a consortium we have also ensured that we have had input from Ceredigion County Council, NRW and the Royal Commission.
It is important that we have carried out this work in order that we could develop a sustainable long-term project.