The Llanfyllin Dolydd Building Preservation Trust has been awarded £39,900 by the Heritage Lottery Fund for the Llanfyllin Workhouse History Centre and Community Project, which will bring the past to life for local people as well as visitors.
The Workhouse, in North Powys near the Shropshire border, is one of the best preserved in Britain but its real significance lies in the stories it has to tell: not those of the rich and powerful, but of ordinary men, women and children who fell on hard times. As part of the 18 month project, local volunteers will help to create displays and educational materials to bring their lives into focus. These will be housed in a new History Centre and reception area near the entrance to the building, in one of the least altered parts of the old Workhouse. There will be a viewing room with a twenty minute film for visitors as well as space for digital resources accessible to those with an interest in local or social history. And the project will take forward the restoration of the building with further repairs to roofs and stonework.
Community participation will be at the heart of the project, with the emphasis on acquiring skills as well as knowledge. Volunteers creating the interpretation materials, and the local actors making the film, will receive professional guidance: others, including members of Llanfyllin’s GABA youth group, will be trained in oral history techniques and produce recordings, thus preserving memories of the people who had associations with the building.
The project will culminate in a large-scale adaptation of ‘Oliver’ to be staged at the Workhouse, indoors and out, by Llanfyllin High School’s highly regarded Lonely Tree Theatre Company under the direction of the school’s Head of Drama, Mandy Saunders, in September 2016. This will involve students at every stage, and they will start by creating a script which reflects local conditions in the 19th Century and encourages both authors and audience to reflect on the issues the story raises. Whether as cast members, musicians, designers, stage crew or spectators, all will be engaged in a learning experience –and having a lot of fun.
The new History Centre will bring more people to Llanfyllin and to the Workhouse and enhance their experience. Commenting on the award, Workhouse Trustee John Hainsworth said: ” We’re thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund. This will be a real community project with the emphasis on people of all ages acquiring knowledge and skills to produce a lasting legacy.
About the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The Heritage Lottery Fund is the UK’s largest dedicated funder of heritage:
- It invests around £375million a year on a broad range of projects – from museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions
- HLF has supported just over 35,500 projects allocating more than £5.6billion across the UK since the establishment of the Lottery in 1994
- In Wales HLF has invested over £290 million and supported over 2,200 projects in local communities all over the country.
- Follow us on Twitter @HLFCymru.
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