Annex 1


Executive Board Member Decisions Meeting for the Leader

Targeted Finance Fund


Report Author: Lorena Alvarez

Tel: 01269 590216


Budget Available - £110,000.00


Full Report Value: £20,000.00



1 of 1


Application Reference: TFF-19-01


Project Title

Tywi Gateway Project


Tywi Gateway Trust



Key Account Management

The Targeted Finance Fund is a discretionary fund available to Key Account Management (KAM) clients. For an organisation to become a KAM client they must be a third sector not for profit organisation that falls into one of the following 3 categories:

·         Existing social enterprises that have the potential to grow, be sustainable and create employment

·         Emerging projects that have the potential to create jobs a

·         Third sector organisations that deliver vital services within our communities

Project Description

The Tywi Gateway Project is community led, re-connecting, unifying, restoring and re-invigorating the gardens and parkland of the Bishops of St Davids’ Old Bishops Palace, Abergwili, and now home to the Carmarthenshire County Museum.


The current ongoing development in collaboration with Carmarthenshire County Council and the representative Body of the Church of Wales, following successful funding awards in excess of £1.5 million, is restoring the grounds to their last major re-design of the 1840s, bringing back into production the walled kitchen garden, improving public access to and management of the Great Meadow, improving the condition of the SSSI Bishops Pond ox-bow lake and restoring the outbuildings of the Old Bishops Palace for use as an education and interpretation centre with café, which will open early Spring 2021.


The initial programme of capital works is currently being delivered and will be completed by August 2021, this phase has secured the employment of the Tywi Gateway Trust Manager and Head Gardener.


Following on from this, is a five year operational phase including the continuing delivery of learning activities and events, incorporating the employment of a Community Engagement and Learning Officer (CE&LO), responsibilities of which will include the running of the café and the management and maintenance of the site.


This project is for the employment of a Community Engagement and Learning Officer (CE&LO), this two year post will establish a solid basis on which to build and develop increasing numbers of people of all ages as users of the site as a place to enjoy and learn in, bringing together and building links between the Bishops Park, the Old Bishops Palace and Carmarthenshire County Museum and its collections.


The aim of the officer is to encourage and develop a network of users across Carmarthenshire that will support and contribute to the site’s sustainable future.  The officer will develop learning opportunities with schools and home education learners creating activities to explore what makes the Bishops Park, the Old Bishops Palace and the Museum’s collections special. 


Learning and education at the Bishops Park must also provide an income stream to assist in securing a sustainable future for the site. The officer will help to develop the facility as a high quality and distinctive learning space, developing a learning strategy and creating a range of learning resources for visitors to the Bishops Park along with an initial programme of learning opportunities and activities.


The aim is to develop the site as a high quality and distinctive learning space, developing a learning strategy and creating a range of learning resources for visitors, along with an initial programme of learning opportunities and activities.


These will include a range of training courses, workshops and learning experiences drawing on the site’s history, culture, collections, horticulture and natural environment and Bilingual working will be crucial to producing learning resources and delivering formal learning opportunities to schools and colleges in English and Welsh. The first year will focus on specialist training schools and colleges.


The Trust, in partnership with Carmarthenshire County Museum, will develop its community engagement and learning programme based on five main themes:

-       Sense of place. The former palace of the Bishop of St David’s once a centre for spirituality, the arts and the Welsh language – for inspiring a new future

-       A park through time. A private pleasure garden being restored to its 19th century design – for understanding a changing past and cultivating a community led future

-       A food for though. The walled kitchen garden with memories of past luxuries for the Bishops table – for encouraging self-reliance and horticultural innovation

-       Saving the environment. The Great Meadow and the Bishop’s Pond together are of special ecological significance – for engaging with contemporary issues of sustainability

-       Exploring the landscape. Physical and visual connections within the Tywi Valley and beyond – for building links and networks between places and people.


The principal outputs will be:-

  • A learning strategy and learning resources for the site that explore the links and connections regarding what makes the Bishops Park, the Old Bishops Palace and the Museum’s collections special, will be developed in collaboration with the Museum.
  • An activity programme developed and delivered for families and young people outside formal education.
  • A programme of public activities and events relevant and appropriate to the site organised in conjunction with the Museum to include a range of training courses, workshops and learning experiences drawing on the site’s history, culture, collections, horticulture and natural environment.
  • The Park used as a resource for teaching and for personal development, including training in outdoor classroom work, supporting delivery of the New Curriculum for Wales 2022 and ‘A curriculum for Wales, a Curriculum for Life’.
  • Health and well-being focused activities for all ages including Park trails and walks developed and put in place with opportunities for staff, patients and visitors at Glangwili General Hospital and other health agencies to take part.
  • Volunteering, work experience and student placement opportunities offered in all aspects of the work of the Tywi Gateway Trust and the management and maintenance of the site.
  • A survey, research and archiving group which will search, record and disseminate information about the Park, the Museum and Abergwili, including the people who lived and worked there, as well the historic and natural environments
  • An interpretive entry point for those wishing to discover and learn about the Tywi valley will be created.


The main outcomes will be:

  • All ages will gain an enhanced understanding, enjoyment and empathy with the Park, the Museum and their wider setting by fostering their powers of imagination, observation and communication.
  • The socially inclusive activity programme will benefit people in the shared enjoyment of the Park, Museum and their environments, contributing to their spiritual well-being and physical fitness.
  • An emphasis on outdoor learning will re-connect people to their heritage and the natural world.
  • A sustainable income will be generated to contribute to the long term management and maintenance of the Bishops Park and public visitor facilitates.


This project will be unique to the area and not replicated anywhere else in the community.


Economic Benefit

·         Number of individuals into training/education - 20

·         Number of individuals into volunteering - 20

·         Number of individuals into employment

·         Number of community groups/organisations assisted - 8

·         Number of social enterprises created

·         Number of social enterprises supported

·         Number of jobs created - 1

·         Number of jobs safeguarded - 2

·         Public and private leverage funding £28,000


Total Project Cost


Eligible Capital


Eligible  Revenue






Ineligible Costs


Amount and % of

grant requested


Match funding






For the FT post of 1x Community Engagement and Learning Officer

£35,000 – Net wage over 2yrs

£3,500 – PAYE over 2yrs

£3,500 – NI over 2yrs

£6,000 – Pension Contribution over 2yrs





£20,000.00 @ 42%




£13,680.00 – Heritage Lottery – Secured

£11,320.00 Brechfa Windfarm Community Fund – Decision October 2019

£3,000.00 Carmarthenshire Welsh Church fund  - Decision October 2019


Cllr and Officer Consultations Undertaken

·         Cllr. Peter Hughes Griffiths

·         Cllr. Dorian Williams - Trustee of Tywi Gateway Trust

·         Llinos Quelch – CCC Head of Planning

·         Julian Edwards – CCC Development & Built Heritage Manager

·         Jane Davies – Cultural Services Manager

·         Morrigan Mason – Museum Manager


Letters of support included from:

·         Abergwili Parish Church Council

·         Abergwili Community Council

·         Ken Skates – Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism

·         Huw Francis – Director of The National Botanical Garden of Wales

·         Huwel Manley – Natural Resources Wales


Evidence of Need /

Community Engagement

The Tywi Gateway Trust has a board of volunteer trustees which include local residents and representative from local organisations and bodies such as the County Council and Parish Council, as well as other knowledgeable local specialists. The trustees currently include two retired headmasters and four retired teachers.


The Tywi Gateway Project carried out an HLF supported development phase between 2014 and 2016, comprising of a feasibility study which included ecological and archaeological surveys of the Bishops Park, also the creation of a Conservation Management Plan.


A steering group of representatives from the local community including the Primary School, Church and other representatives, made up of local residents, were fundamental to the development of the project.


 A variety of consultation events were also undertaken with the local community and park users. The results of these consultations are included in “Activity Plan – Tywi Gateway Project 2016”.

The Activity Plan was developed with:


·         Welsh Historic Gardens Trust

·         Dyfed Archaeological Society

·         Friends of the Museum

·         Abergwili Primary School

·         The Church of Wales

·         Carmarthenshire County Council

·         Wildlife Trust of South West Wales

·         Tywi Centre and the Merlin’s Centre

·         Carmarthenshire Heritage Group

·         The newly formed Tywi Gateway Trust.



The Museum currently provides only a limited schools education service, with no dedicated staff, alongside occasional activities and events during school holidays. There is currently no regular programme of learning opportunities, activities and events taking place jointly across the Museum and Bishops Park.


 Through developing the learning and education offer in collaboration with the Carmarthenshire County Museum, schools and colleges and home education learners it will ensure that other current services are not duplicated.


Contributing to key Strategies

The CE&LO post will significantly contribute to the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2016. ‘Taking Wales Forward’; The programme for Government, ‘Posterity for all’; The National Strategy, National Resources Policy for Wales and Sustainable and Management of Natural Resources. The project also supports the following regional action plans and policies:


-       Tackling Poverty Action Plan

-       Strategy for Tourism 2013-2020 ‘Partnership for Growth’

-       Carmarthenshire Local Development Strategy


The project will contribute to the following strategic objectives of the Carmarthenshire:


 Local Development Plan

-       SO4: To ensure that the natural, built and historic environment is safeguarded and enhanced and that habitats and species are protected.

-       SO7: To assist in protecting and enhancing the County’s unique cultural identify, assets and social fabric

-       SO8: To assist with widening and promoting opportunities to access community, leisure and recreational facilities as well as the countryside

-       SO12: To promote and develop sustainable and high quality all year round tourism related initiatives.


Tourism Destination Management Plan (2015-2020)

-       ‘To develop a prosperous visitor economy in Carmarthenshire, based on its unique strengths and character, which generates higher spend and local income, enhances its image and reputation and improves the quality of life for local communities’

-       ‘Be somewhere that has a distinctive image and identity which is meaningful to residents and visitors’

-       ‘Be a safe and secure destination that takes pride in its place in history and wants to tell its story to others.’




30 year lease agreement -  Carmarthenshire County Council

Business Plan/Officer Comments including details of support moving forward/next steps linked to growth and sustainability

The project will assist in adding economic benefits and growth within the community which will be derived from the responses to the requirements of the Wellbeing Act.


The park currently has more than 12,000 visits a year from the community as well as further afield.


The Tywi Gateway project will secure a sustainable future for the site through developing income streams to support the future management and maintenance of the site and income from the Tywi Gateway centre, including trading, retailing and catering will provide a surplus for continued employment of the Tywi Gateway Trust staff.


The site not only brings together an exceptional Museum collection, nationally important historic park and garden and nationally significant wildlife, it is the partnership of the community, TGT, Museum and Local Authority that provide a unique opportunity for future growth.


Beyond the delivery of the Tywi Gateway project the Tywi Gateway Trust is committed to continuing to develop opportunities to secure and increase income streams to ensure on-going management and maintenance and the future financial viability of the site.


The “Centre” has been designed as a flexible space which can accommodate and provide a venue for a wide range of activities and events. Built upon the research and consultation undertaken for the development of the Business Plan and Activity Plan this provides the opportunity to explore and develop a variety of commercial opportunities as they arise. For example, at present workshops and training which provide enjoyable and unique learning “experiences” are generally popular and can easily be accommodated and offered at the site. At the same time complimentary activities and events such as pop-up restaurants, arts performance and concert, can be trialled and markets developed.


The Trust manager, supported by the Board of Trustees, will also continue to seek additional project funding to achieve discrete additional objectives as opportunities are identified.


The officer will provide a unique provision for Carmarthenshire residents and visitors creating a programme of activities, events and learning opportunities across the site of the Carmarthenshire County Museum and Bishops Park.





Award - £20,000.00


Subject to:

Match funding being secured