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£1.249m Heritage Lottery Fund Secured for Holy Island


A £1.249m grant to help improve the heritage of Holy Island for its people and communities has been given initial approval¹ by the Heritage Lottery Fund. (HLF) through its Landscape Partnership (LP) programme², it was announced Saturday, November 5th.

This major grant will allow the Tir a Môr Landscape Partnership for Holy Island to develop numerous projects aimed at re-connecting people with the distinctive island heritage and celebrate its Welsh culture, landscapes, wildlife, spirituality and communities.

The newly formed Tir a Môr Landscape Partnership for Holy Island is made up of partners, including the Isle of Anglesey County Council, Town and Community Councils, Natural Resources Wales, RSPB and Communities First. The Partnership will oversee the delivery of projects locally once the full grant has been awarded.

The County Council has now been awarded a £117,200 development grant which it will use to develop plans on behalf of the Partnership. Detailed project plans will be presented to the HLF at a later date to seek final approval for the full grant.

Ynys Cybi boasts a rich mosaic of habitats from cliffs to beaches, heathland to wetland reed-bed, world class UNESCO Geopark status, scheduled ancient monuments and maritime history.

Projects to be developed will aim to conserve the natural heritage and protect and enhance at risk habitats and species. They’ll raise awareness of Holy Island as an enjoyable place to visit on Anglesey, promote Ynys Cybi as a cultural and spiritual landscape rooted in Welsh traditions and language. . Its distinctly Welsh environment and language will be valued, embraced, and provide opportunities for Heritage, Communities and People.

Importantly, these projects will involve people, who live, work and visit on Holy Island to better manage, enhance and appreciate its special landscapes, seascapes, wildlife and views.

They’ll also encourage volunteering and community involvement within the project and its activities and provide landowner, community and training benefits for long term improved skills and management to support employment and increased knowledge and understanding of Holy Island’s special character through learning.

Traditional building and land management skills training will also be incorporated along with sharing the island’s stories to ensure the essence of Holy Island’s character carries on for future generations.

Richard Bellamy, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales, said,

“Heritage Lottery Fund money works hard to ensure all of our important heritage is looked after – but it’s not all about grand old buildings, castles and museums. There is natural heritage all around us, especially here in Wales, which is vital to our economy, our livelihoods and our wellbeing.

“This fantastic Holy Island partnership is the latest to benefit from money raised by National Lottery players, which will both reconnect people with often overlooked heritage on their doorstep as well as protect that environment for years to come.”

Chair of the Joint Advisory Committee of the Anglesey AONB, Councillor Richard Dew welcomed the announcement. He added,

“It’s clear that the HLF recognises the value of Ynys Cybi, both in terms of its special landscape and rich culture. I now look forward to seeing this funding deliver numerous projects which will conserve and enhance the area and have a positive impact on local communities, the environment and residents.”