A CENTRE in the Towy Valley is leading the way for sustainable heritage conservation in Wales.

The Tywi Centre – at Dinefwr Farm near Llandeilo – is a built heritage conservation skills provider which is spearheading a transformative effort to safeguard and enhance Wales’ traditional built heritage with a focus on sustainability.

The Tywi Centre recognises the need to reduce emissions associated with the historical structures and has revealed its programmes to empower craftspeople and communities with skills and knowledge needed to safeguard treasured buildings and address environmental concerns.

The initiatives have been funded by the Levelling Up Fund and Carmarthenshire County Council.

One of the initiatives is the delivery of an NVQ Level 3 training and work placement programme for students in heritage stonemasonry, carpentry and plastering. The training – in partnership with Cyfle Building Skills and CITB – will be done over four weeks with specialist construction training, a year of assessment and placements with local companies doing heritage projects. It will provide the students with important hands-on experience needed for the qualification and allow them to be work-ready once finished, helping to shape the future of heritage conservation.

There will also be a number of initiatives for custodians and owners of traditional homes and buildings to offer them traditional skills training through non-accredited courses and public awareness events, providing information and advice on repair and maintenance, energy efficiency and the utilisation of sustainable and traditional materials.

The centre is on a mission to elevate the carbon emissions performance of older buildings to ensure that their historical significance is preserved while avoiding unintended consequences, responding to Wales’ net zero goals by ensuring the existing building stock is kept and appropriately and sympathetically retrofitted for future generations.

Nell Hellier, the Tywi Centre’s senior built heritage officer, said: “We are delighted to be able to announced our latest collaborative initiatives, which are at the forefront of promoting sustainable heritage conservation in Wales.

“Our commitment to empowering craftspeople with the essential skills and knowledge needed to preserve our architectural heritage through our innovative training programmes in partnership with Cyfle and CITB will be invaluable to our mission.

“By championing the heritage construction skills qualification and offering traditional skills training to owners of traditional buildings, we bridge the gap between tradition and sustainability. With these initiatives, we are ensuring that our historic buildings not only stand the test of time but also contribute to a more sustainable future for our communities.”

The Tywi Centre’s courses have become popular amongst architects and engineers. For more information about the centre, visit www.tywicentre.org.uk.