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Ancient Connections receives additional funds post-Covid

PEMBROKESHIRE County Council, together with partners; Wexford County Council, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and Visit Wexford, are embarking on phase two of an arts, heritage and tourism project – Ancient Connections.

Ancient Connections’ aim is to revive and celebrate the ancient links between communities in North Pembrokeshire and Wexford. 

To date Ancient Connections have commissioned new artworks, traditional skills training, archaeological work, support and training for local festivals, schools projects, mentoring and support for businesses and community projects to name a few.

The additional €1.48M funding, which includes €1.19m from the European Regional Development Fund through the Ireland Wales Co-operation programme, will enable increased activity to take place in North Pembrokeshire and County Wexford, addressing the time that was lost during the Covid pandemic to delivery project outputs.

In addition, the fund has built on and expanded some of Ancient Connections goals, namely celebrating culture and heritage, building cultural and business opportunities in and between both regions as well as developing the theme of pilgrimage in a major way.

Work has now begun on phase two. Support for local businesses, who experienced the economic fall-out from the Covid pandemic, is currently underway with business training in Ferns, County Wexford and a project in Pembrokeshire to support businesses to develop new tourist products.

The creation of a cross-border pilgrimage route, named the Wexford- Pembrokeshire Pilgrim Way, has begun in earnest. The new route links Ferns, ancient capital of Leinster, and home to Europe’s smallest cathedral, with St Davids, birthplace of the patron Saint of Wales and the smallest city in the UK which is home to St Davids Cathedral.

With the two areas easily connected by the Stena Line ferry service between Fishguard and Rosslare, the rising interest in pilgrimage holidays and long-distance walking, the stunning landscapes and the historical links between St David and St Aidan, the idea of a new route joining these destinations is a compelling one.

Additional art projects and marketing of the pilgrim route will take place as part of phase two with the aim to drive more spend into the areas.

Ancient Connections project will now end in summer 2023. For more information on events and news please visit www.ancientconnections.org.