Village Alive Trust
Village Alive Trust

July 2005: Village Alive project succeeds in EU cash bid

THE imaginative Village Alive Trust project based at Llangattock Lingoed, near Abergavenny has succeeded in its bid for almost £50,000 of EU cash. The project is being financed and supported by the Welsh Assembly Government and managed by the Welsh Development Agency and the Adventa Local Action Group through the Article 33 Rural Development Programme for Wales, writes Trust chairman Pat Griffiths.

The Trust, which has been registered as a charity, will use the capital grant, plus match funding of around £13,000, to repair two endangered Grade II listed buildings; set up a website to encourage tourism and collate local people's memories for a social history archive.

Following tendering for the restoration overseen by architects Morgan and Horowskyj, the Trust has awarded the contract to a local firm, J Sobik and Son, of Bryn-y-Gwenin, near Abergavenny. The builders aim to complete the restoration work on the Well House at New Inn Farm, Cross Ash and Cwm Farm Cider House, Llangattock Lingoed by August Bank Holiday.

Rev Dr Jean Prosser, the Trust's company secretary, said: "Trust members are delighted to award the contract to a reputable local firm and look forward to working closely with Nigel Sobik and his team.

"The aim of the Article 33 funding is to support the renovation and development of villages and protect and conserve rural heritage as well as encouraging tourist and craft activities for economic sustainability, and the support and involvement of the local community is part and parcel of this. Trust members are delighted that local people, and hospitality businesses in the area, have taken this project to their hearts, pledging support and practical assistance.

"The Trust is also grateful to the Manifold Trust which has pledged a £1,000 grant payable on completion of the first building."

The Trust, in collaboration with Llangattock Lingoed Parochial Church Council is aiming for the restoration work to be celebrated over the August Bank Holiday weekend, As well as a 17th century-based church service and concert at St Cadoc's the celebrations will include a family-based medieval Lammas Fair when attractions will include Samhain medieval enactment group; crafts ranging from bodging to lace-making, talks, children's games and a beer festival and hog roast.

Visitors to the Fair will be able to learn about the Trust's work and the progress of the social history archive. Members of the Trust and volunteers aim to interview local people to capture their memories of a fast-disappearing country way of life. A training day for these budding social historians will take place with a representative of the National Museums and Galleries of Wales, based at the Museum of Welsh Life, St Fagans.

One of the Trust's directors, Professor Ken Prandy, is spearheading the social history aspect of the project and has already collated local historical records for people researching their family history which can be found on the internet at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~llangattocklingoed. Over the next few months members of the Trust will be recording the memories of local residents and setting up an oral history archive.

In keeping with the Trust's name, 'Village Alive', members in conjunction with Haydn Jones, of The Hunter's Moon Inn, are helping to ensure local people can keep abreast of up to date internet access.

After arranging a public meeting with local wireless broadband provider, WBNet, of Newport, arrangements are in hand to set up wireless broadband across the area as BT has been unable to offer broadband to Cross Ash telephone numbers. WBNet has offered to help the Village Alive Trust with website registration and web space.

Anyone wishing to find out more about the Village Alive Trust can send an email to village.alive@virgin.net