UWTSD secures funding to deliver an exciting engagement project linked to Yr Egin


UWTSD has been awarded a sum of £129,045 through the LEADER fund - which is administered by Carmarthenshire County Council on behalf of Grŵp Cefn Gwlad - to enable the University to develop a creative and digital engagement project that will work with different communities throughout Carmarthenshire. The funding also allows University to employ a full-time Project Officer for the duration of project to co-ordinate its activities.

Yr Egin

This project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government and is linked to Canolfan S4C Yr Egin - an ambitious development that will be home to S4C’s main headquarters as well as a number of companies and organisations working with the creative and digital industries.  It will also be a centre that will be at the heart of the community providing opportunities for local people to enjoy the building and its resources - a cafe, auditorium and performance areas.

With Yr Egin due to open in September, the grant, awarded by Grŵp Cefn Gwlad, will help to raise awareness of the centre within a range of community groups throughout the county by offering a variety of activities and events. The project will also help the University to deliver Yr Egin’s ambition in terms of adding value to the economy and community as well as further developing opportunities for people to work, socialise and to be creative through the medium of Welsh. 

The fund will also help create and develop a network for creative practitioners called Creative Carmarthenshire – a forum that will bring together professionals from the creative and cultural industries who either live or work in the area. 

“This project will give the University the opportunity to work closely with key local partners – community, educational and business organisations as well as S4C,” says Gwilym Dyfri Jones, Associate Pro Vice Chancellor at UWTSD.

“This is a far reaching and ambitious project that aims to maximise the social and economic benefit of the relocation of S4C to Carmarthen and also contributes to Carmarthenshire County Council’s ambitious regeneration plans.”

The vision for Yr Egin is far greater than the building within which the creative community will be housed. The development’s impact will be felt throughout Carmarthenshire and it’s hoped that this project will help the University to inspire and energise a host of social organisations and communities throughout the region.  

“We are extremely grateful to Grŵp Cefn Gwlad for awarding the University this grant as it will allow us and our key partners the opportunity to raise the profile of the development within the county; to support and nurture our very best local creative talents and to communicate directly with, and to offer practical support to the creative industries across the region,” continues Gwilym Dyfri Jones.

“Indeed, Canolfan S4C Yr Egin will act as a catalyst for new business ventures, new courses and new ways of interacting with the wider community.”

This project is based on a close working relationship between the University and a number of prominent groups, organisations and institutions across the county, including Carmarthenshire County Council; Coleg Sir Gâr; Menter Gorllewin Sir Gâr; Menter Bro Dinefwr; Menter Cwm Gwendraeth Elli; the Urdd; Young Farmers Clubs as well as S4C.  

In order to engage with as many people as possible in Carmarthenshire, the project is focused on working with three different groups – the community; young people and the creative sector.

The Community engagement aspect of the project will lead to the hosting of nine events that will promote a sense of ownership of Yr Egin within local communities across Carmarthenshire. Working with at least twenty community organisations, the project will also encourage digital participation whilst also focusing on encouraging entrepreneurship. A key element will also be to promote Yr Egin as a regional creative hub that will be available for communities, clubs and organisations to use.

“We’ve starting by mapping existing community provision before looking at the types of events that can be arranged,” says Dewi Snelson, Principal Officer at Menter Gorllewin Sir Gâr.  “We’ve discussed a range of activities targeting different age groups that include roadshows, screenings, workshops and competitions.  It’s also key that we promote and work with other projects already established in Carmarthenshire in order to compliment the great work that’s already being done in our communities.

“Yr Egin will be fantastic for the area, not only for the creative industries and the companies located with the building but for the community too,” continues Dewi. “It’s great to be part of a project that will benefit the community as well as the local economy”. 

The project will also work with young people across Carmarthenshire offering opportunities to learn more about the creative industries and to spark or develop their interests. It will also offer the project team the chance to identify local creative talent and to provide appropriate support for them to further develop their skills.

“This is such a great project to be a part of at such an exciting time for the county,” says Nicki Neale, Faculty Director and Director of Coleg Sir Gâr’s Llanelli campus.

“As part of this project, I’ve been looking at the type of work we can do with young people – looking at the type of employment Yr Egin will offer and how we can start to work with young people to develop their interests, talent and skills. We’ve already started looking at a programme of work that will start with visits to the county’s secondary schools; film competitions; digital media summer schools; Saturday Digital Media Clubs; masterclasses and screenings as well as thinking of ways we can help to facilitate work placements with digital and media companies.

“We’ll also have the opportunity to provide nine World of Work events that will aim to inspire students and show them the range of career paths available to them in the creative and digital sectors.

“From now on, the whole world of the creative industries will be opened up to us in West Wales and we look forward to working with young people from Year 9 onwards to develop their skills in a range of disciplines and to raise awareness of the opportunities available to them.

Another exciting aspect of this project is the opportunity to establish and grow a professional network in Carmarthenshire for those working within the creative industries.

“This is a great opportunity for practitioners living or working in Carmarthenshire,” says Nerys Evans, Executive Project Officer at UWTSD. “The project will allow us to create a network for professionals working across the creative industries and to offer a range of events and workshops tailored to their needs.  We’ll be launching the network, which we’re calling Creative Carmarthenshire at the Celtic Media Festival which is being held in Llanelli this week. 

“This is such an important aspect of Yr Egin as it will help further promote the creative industries across the county as well as helping to bring creative practitioners together - promoting collaboration and helping to share knowledge and best practice.”

Canolfan S4C Yr Egin is a development that will transform and shape the creative and digital industries in South West Wales and beyond as well as becoming a hub for the local community.

A project officer will be appointed shortly to help deliver the programme of events linked to the Engagement Project that will run from now until March 2020. The University also recently announced the appointment of Carys Ifan as Director of Canolfan S4C Yr Egin who’ll be leading on the exciting initiative and who’ll be responsible for its commercial and cultural success.

The 3,700 square metre building has already received the support of the Design Commission for Wales with the internal layout of the building focused around a public foyer and atrium that overarches the three floors.  There will be a specific focus on the broadcasting and performance on the ground floor, with a range of offices for S4C and other partners on the other two floors. The University will also create new enterprise incubation units, offering access to opportunities, facilities, events and industry networks.

The Creative Carmarthenshire network will be officially launched during a breakfast event at this year’s Celtic Media Festival which is being held in Y Ffwrnes, Llanelli. The launch will take place on Thursday, May 3rd between 8.30am and 9.30am. If you’re interested in attending, please contact yregin@uwtsd.ac.uk

Further Information

For further information, please contact Sian-Elin Davies, Principal Communications and PR Officer on 01267 676908 / 07449 998476 / sian-elin.davies@uwtsd.ac.uk