|Scarlets win bid for Heritage Lottery Funding at their West Wales home|
|News - History News|
|Tuesday, 23 October 2012 08:41|
A major new Scarlets heritage project has been given the go-ahead with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to inspire new generations in rugby and local history.
The Scarlets have been awarded a £100,000 grant for a unique heritage trail that will celebrate Llanelli and its rugby club’s great history with the aim of inspiring young people to find out more about the rich culture and sporting legacy of the region.
The decision happily arrives just over a week before the celebration of the Scarlets 40th anniversary of their famous 9-3 victory over the All Blacks in 1972. A glittering showcase dinner will be held on the day of the game Wednesday 31st October - welcoming more than 1,200 rugby greats, Scarlets legends and VIP guests to Parc y Scarlets to celebrate the region's unrivalled heritage.
The Scarlets have been supported in their plans and bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in a joint collaboration with Llanelli RFC, the former players association and Crys16, the Scarlets’ Supporters Trust along with support from stadium partners, Carmarthenshire County Council.
The focus of the new heritage trail project based at Parc Y Scarlets is to inspire, safeguard and promote the great heritage and history of Scarlets rugby and its intrinsic links with Llanelli and people across the county. The trail will promote awareness of the link between local history and Llanelli Rugby Club in the form of a timeline spanning 140 years of rugby, industrial, local and national history.
The new ‘walk through’ trail at Parc y Scarlets will provide a range of learning opportunities and experiences from 1872 onwards using audio, visual and interactive software and methods to tell the story of Llanelli and its world-famous rugby club.
The club, with the backing of Carmarthenshire County Council appointed a full-time project development funding officer, Nia Lloyd to oversee the Scarlets submission for funding to the Heritage Lottery Fund as well as looking at other opportunities to help fund future projects to promote education and culture via Scarlets sport.
Jon Daniels, General Manager of Operations at Parc y Scarlets said: “This is fantastic news for our rugby region, partner clubs, supporters and sponsors and all those who have contributed to our rich history over the past 140 years right up to the modern day.
"This grant will allow us to further celebrate and promote one of the richest and most colourful histories in the world. We have an unrivalled and extensive array of thought-provoking archives and treasured artifacts that can inspire and evoke the emotions of our supporters, rugby fans and visitors across the generations which sadly we haven’t been able to share fully with the public to date.
“It’s so important to us and to our community to display our joint heritage and tell the story of the region to our many visitors to Parc y Scarlets.
“Who we are and where we have come from including our sporting, social and industrial history helps defines us today. Sport is such an inspiring medium from which to learn history and culture as well as values and can really connect with people.
“There are so many benefits for our community and we will work hard to create something really special here as a focal point to celebrate as a community and to use to inspire young people.
Jennifer Stewart, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund Wales commented on the award: “Sport, and in particular rugby, has played a central role in helping to define Wales as a nation. We were impressed by the quality of interpretation and breadth of activities presented in the application and we look forward to seeing the project achieve these goals.”
Mark James, Chief Executive of Carmarthenshire County Council said: “This is great news for Llanelli and for the Club. This trail will celebrate the Scarlets’ rich history and heritage, and its place for over 100 years at the heart of Llanelli.
“It will help inform and inspire young and future generations, and promote education and culture through sport. The Scarlets name is synonymous with Llanelli, the histories of the club and the town are interwoven, and the new trail will both celebrate this and ensure that this legacy lives on.”
The Scarlets expressed their thanks to Nia Lloyd for the work undertaken to put together the successful bid including an extensive consultation with the local community in recent months to help define the scope and scale of projects to be involved in the heritage project. She has hosted workshops with 23 local schools and consulted with museums, community groups, colleges, historical societies and individuals involved in education, culture and history.
The project will also provide opportunities for volunteers, offering training on conservation and research, cataloguing historical items and learning about the history of local people involved in the rugby club and local area.
Interactive educational exhibition would include videos of famous matches, behind the scenes footage, audio including match commentary, stories, team-talks, interactive games for the younger generation, sports education including training and diets of a modern day player and the way the Academy works.
The centre will be a base for education, with the ability and space to deliver lesson plans and themed school projects linked to history, culture and heritage.
Work on the Scarlets Community Heritage project will get underway in the next fortnight.